7 years later, the court acquits Tarun Tejpal of rape charge | India News
Additional sessions judge Kshama Joshi delivered the verdict on Friday after postponing the trial date three times in a case in which the Goa police had filed a suo motu FIR. Tejpal lawyer Rajiv Gomes died from Covid last week.
Minutes after the sentencing, Goa Prime Minister Pramod Sawant said the government would appeal to the high court. “The verdict is an injustice towards the victim, and this injustice will not be tolerated. We will challenge the verdict in the high court as soon as possible, ”he said.
“We will not let anyone go free in this way. I have personally reviewed the evidence gathered in the case and, looking at it, it cannot be acquitted. It is very sad and we will not tolerate such injustice against women, ”Sawant said.
Tejpal said that the past few years had been a long nightmare for his family and that he was relieved that it was all over. “It is with deep respect that I thank this court for its rigorous, impartial and fair trial, and for its careful examination of CCTV images and other recorded empirical material,” he said.
“In November 2013, I was falsely accused of sexual assault, and today the trial court of the additional sessions judge, Goa, has acquitted me. In a terribly flawed age where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank you for standing up for the truth. I am grateful to have received justice, because justice is not always something given in this country, ”he said.
When asked if the state government had “fixed” the case, Tejpal said: “We will talk to the press, but give us some time. It was very hard for all of us ”.
Tejpal had been charged under sections 354 of the IPC (assaulting or using criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (outrageous modesty), 341 (undue restraint), 342 (improper confinement ), 376 (rape), 376 (2) (f) (person in a position of trust or authority over the woman who commits the rape of said woman) and 376 (2) (k) (rape of a woman by a person who is in a position of control or dominance over the woman).
Special prosecutor Francisco Tavora said the verdict was a setback for the state.
The case concerns 2013, when on November 7 and 8 Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted a woman at an event in Goa. On November 22, the Goa police filed a suo motu FIR against him.
He appeared in Goa on November 28, 2013 and was arrested on November 30 after his advance bail statement was rejected. On May 19, 2014, the Supreme Court granted him a provisional bond to attend the cremation of his mother and since then he has been out of prison.