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Tarun Tejpal’s verdict as a ‘manual for rape victims’, says HC | India News

PANAJI: Mumbai High Court Goa court issued notice to Tehelka editor and founder Tarun Tejpal on Wednesday in Goa government’s appeal challenging his acquittal by a lower court in a rape case and said some observations in the sentence regarding the conduct of the survivor after the alleged incident was “a kind of manual for victims of rape.” “There is a prima facie case to consider authorization to appeal under Section 378 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” said Judge SC Gupte.
Referring to the judgment of the additional court of sessions, Gupte said: “The case of the prosecution is not only exposed in its entirety, but the essence is given immediately and comments are offered on the witnesses of the prosecution.”
During the hearing, Indian Attorney General Tushar Mehta stated that the judge discussed the conduct of the survivor and how a victim of a sex crime should behave. She also strongly objected to the observations of the trial court on the survivor’s conduct when the defendant kissed her.
Mehta told the higher court that upon reading the sentence, “it cannot be known” whether the survivor or the defendant were on trial. “The entire trial proceeds as if the victim was being tried,” he said.
“’It is not possible to believe that the accuser (survivor), a law-conscious, intelligent, alert and physically fit woman (a yoga trainer), would not push or push the accused away if she was pushed against the wall, especially when she was in front of him, and especially when she saw the defendant uncomfortably approach her in her private space, ‘”Mehta quoted the trial of the session court. The attorney general said that trial judge Kshama Joshi remained a silent bystander and did not prevent the defense from raising questions about the survivor’s past conduct.
Mehta also said that the sentence establishes that the survivor consulted certain people (lawyers), and that the survivor has been reproached for. He then asked the judge to remove the names of these “eminent lawyers” from the sentence.
“We have drafted most of the direct references to the identity of the victim,” Judge Gupte said, adding that this issue (of removing the attorneys’ names) can be raised at the next hearing.
Earlier this month, Kshama Joshi had acquitted the defendant, stating: “When considering the other evidence recorded, the benefit of the doubt is given to the defendant, as there is no evidence to substantiate the allegations made by the prosecutor.
The trial court judge had added: “It is crucial to note that the contradictions are often so obvious that the exact opposite of what the prosecution claims happens on the screen, but the investigating officer did not even question the prosecution in the same . ”.



Times of India

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