The acquitting of Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal in the alleged rape case has been ‘consumed by sexual gossip’ and alleged ‘sexual fantasies’ relating to the survivor that were legally prohibited, the Goa government said.
“The cross-examination of the survivor, extending to almost 700 pages and spread over 18 dates of hearing, was nothing short of a brutal attack on her character and alleged past sexual history, designed to shame and humiliate her," the state has said.
The matter is likely to come up before the Bombay High Court on July 29. Reportedly, the high court will now decide the application filed by the state seeking leave to appeal against the trial court judgment.
On June 24, the High Court had granted the Goa government time to make further amendments to its appeal against the order of a Sessions Court acquitting Tejpal in a case of rape and sexual harassment.
The government added that these questions have been disallowed while recording evidence and the trial court has used these very questions and material to discredit the survivor. “They were neither relevant to the case nor could they have been put to her under law," the state government said.
The state in it’s plea has stated that the judgment’s prime focus has been on indicting the survivor rather than trying to ascertain the accused’s role in the allegations, The Times of India reported. The application says that the 527-page judgment is influenced by extraneous, inadmissible materials and testimonies, and graphic details of her past sexual history, which are prohibited by law.
Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting his then colleague in an elevator of a hotel in Goa on November 7, 2013 and November 8, 2013. On May 21, Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi acquitted him of all charges.