HC rejects Tejpal’s plea for in-camera hearing

A file photo of Tarun Tejpal  

The Bombay High Court in Goa on Wednesday rejected a plea filed by former journalist Tarun Tejpal seeking in-camera hearing of a petition filed by the Goa government challenging his acquittal in the 2013 rape case.

An in-camera hearing restricts general public from attending the proceedings. A Division Bench of Justices Revati Mohite-dere and M.S. Jawalkar was hearing an application filed by Mr. Tejpal through senior advocate Amit Desai seeking in-camera hearing of the case, citing the Code of Criminal Procedure and an order passed by Justice Gautam Patel of the High Court giving guidelines to cover cases of sexual harassment.


In September 2021, Justice Patel said: “All hearings will only be in chambers or in-camera; There will be no online or hybrid facility for hearings; all hearings must be by physical attendance; only the advocates and the litigants are permitted to attend hearings. Support staff (clerks, peons, etc), must leave the court; except the court master/associate or sheristedar and the stenographer or person providing secretarial assistance, other court staff must also leave the court and not be present at the hearing.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the State of Goa and opposed the application. The court rejected the plea and said reasons would be pronounced separately.

Mr. Tejpal had been accused of sexually assaulting a woman colleague in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013. On May 21, 2021, special judge Kshama Joshi at the Mapusa District and Sessions Court, Goa, acquitted Mr. Tejpal of all charges. The State government had immediately filed an appeal before the High Court challenging the acquittal.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 11:54:29 PM |

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