The Goa bench in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday noted that the court’s decision to acquire a journalist acquiring journalist Tarun Tejpal in a 2013 rape case was like a “rape victim’s handbook” as it considers how the victim should respond in such cases.
Justice S C Gupte had also issued a notice to Tejpal filing on June 24 a petition filed by the Goa government against a court order declining his acquittal.
The HC also ordered the registry office to summon all documents and other documents relating to the trial.
“This decision looks at how he (the victim) responded. There is more to consider. It’s like a pamphlet for rape victims,” said Judge Gupte.
HC said the decision did not include prosecutors’ case.
(Judgment) goes directly into the context of the case and presents the evidence and statements from witnesses, Judge Gupte said.
The high court said that there is a pre-trial hearing (leave) to apply for an appeal (against conviction). Give notice to the respondent (Tejpal) which is returned on June 24.
The HC bench said this when Indian Attorney General Tushar Mehta, from the Goa government, read out portions of the 527-page court ruling there, while referring to the victim’s behavior (during and after the incident), said the report was “extremely implausibility”.
Mehta said that the verdict states that the victim, who is a smart and physically fit woman as she teaches yoga, could have prevented sexual harassment.
On May 21, Judge Kshama Joshi acquitted Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, on charges of sexually abusing a colleague when he raided a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013 while attending an event.
The trial court ruled in favor of the woman, saying it did not indicate any “normal conduct” such as trauma and panic attacks.
On Wednesday Mehta showed HC the observations made by the session court on how the victim had met with prominent female lawyers such as Indira Jaising and Rebecca John.
“What’s wrong if the victim decides to get legal advice from women lawyers before going to court or the police?” Said Mehta.
The court then noted that the decision, while referring to Jaising, states that the victim had kept her phone number on her phone under the name ‘Brahmastra’.
Mehta said all this is not important and that is why it should be redone.
She said adding that even she was a woman that This will have a pan-India effect as everyone will read this decision. In the future, a victim of sexual harassment may be reluctant to take legal advice. There is a share in the verdict that these lawyers are women’s rights activists,” she said, adding that even she was a woman.
HC said it would address all of these issues by the next day’s hearing.
“The decision has already been uploaded and is in the public domain. As in our previous order, all references to the victim’s identity have been removed from the decision,” Justice Gupte said.
Mehta went on to say that the regular court decision shows a lack of sympathy for crimes against women and a complete lack of knowledge on the matter.
He said that they do not know whether the victim was on trial or the defendant. The whole decision is as if the victim is being tried. Why should there be so much discussion about the sexual history of the victim.
The court judge became a silent observer as the defendants’ lawyers continued to humiliate the victim, Mehta said. PTI SP GK GK.