Journalist Tarun Tejpal Moves Supreme Court, Seeks In-Camera Hearing Of Rape Case Appeal

Tarun Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting his woman colleague. He was acquitted last year.

New Delhi:

Journalist Tarun Tejpal today moved the Supreme Court seeking an in-camera hearing of the rape case appeal after his plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court where he had argued that the identity of the accused is just as important to protect in his case.

His plea will be heard tomorrow by a bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai. 

On November 24 last year, the Bombay HC had rejected his plea seeking an in-camera hearing of the proceedings that challenge his acquittal in the 2013 rape case. Mr Tejpal had argued that the identity of the accused in an appeal against the acquittal is equally important to be protected like that of the victim

Tarun Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of ‘Tehelka’ magazine, was accused of sexually assaulting his woman colleague in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013. In May 2021, he was acquitted by a sessions court in Goa.

In the acquittal verdict, the judge had commented extensively on the woman’s behaviour and faulty investigation in the case, to grant Mr Tejpal the benefit of the doubt. The judge had said that the rape victim did not behave like one.

At the time of his acquittal, Mr Tejpal had thanked the court for “a rigorous, impartial and fair trial” in the case and said that the last seven-and-a-half years had been traumatic for his family as they dealt with “the catastrophic fallout of the false allegations against him”.

The acquittal was later challenged by the government of Goa in the Goa bench of the Bombay HC.

The state government had said that the court’s judgement was “coloured by prejudice and patriarchy”.

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