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Tejpal case: Bombay HC rejects plea for in camera hearing of appeal

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Panaji, Oct 27, 2021- The Bombay High Court in Goa on Wednesday turned down, for the time being, a plea made by former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal to hold the appeal proceedings in the rape case filed against him in camera.

Tejpal’s counsel also made a plea to a bench of Justices Revati Dere and M.S. Jawalkar challenging the maintainability of the appeal petition, which was filed by the state government, after he was acquitted by a local trial court of rape charges in May this year.

The defence had argued for the appeal proceedings in camera, citing the fact that the case had been heard in camera during the trial stage too. However, the bench said that it was disinclined to consider the plea “at this stage”.

It is expected to hear Tejpal’s plea challenging the maintainability of the appeal on November 16.

“We have raised that squarely that the maintainability of the appeal is defective, not in consonance with requirement of 378 CrPC,” Tejpal’s advocate Amit Desai told the court on Wednesday, adding that procedures had been bypassed by the prosecution in its hurry to file an appeal.

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, who is holding brief for the prosecution, has challenged the claim made by Desai vis-a-vis maintainability of the petition, adding that he would submit a detailed response on November 16, when the next hearing has been scheduled.

A junior colleague at Tehelka had accused Tejpal of allegedly raping her twice at a five star resort in Goa in 2013.

In May this year, a Goa court had acquitted Tejpal of all charges levelled against under Sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code, following which the the Goa government had filed an appeal against the acquittal before the Bombay High Court. (Agency)

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