Tarun Tejpal case: HC directs sessions court to remove anything that reveals identity of woman

Mumbai (TIP): Referring to the Goa court judgment acquitting journalist Tarun Tejpal, the Bombay High Court on Thursday, May 27, directed the sessions court judge to redact the email ID of the survivor and the name of her husband and mother from the judgment before uploading it on the court website. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared before a single Bench of justice S.C. Gupte through videoconferencing and said the judgment in the case of sexual assault and rape was to be pronounced on May 19 which got postponed to May 21 when it was only revealed that Tejpal was acquitted. The State of Goa immediately filed for an appeal before the High Court challenging the acquittal. He went on to say that the physical copy of the judgment was made available only on May 25. He pointed out the paragraphs in which the email ID of the survivor, the names of her partner, now husband, and her mother had been revealed. He, therefore, urged the High Court to pass a direction to the sessions court to delete all the details that may reveal the identity of the survivor before uploading the judgment on the court website. In its order, the HC said, “considering the law against disclosure of identity of victim, the sessions court is directed to redact the email ID of the prosecutrix (victim), her husband and mother’s name.” The court said it would adjourn the matter to be heard once vacation was over and regular court started on June 7. Mehta, however, requested the court to hear the matter before that and said, “The system expects sensitivity over jurisprudence. We owe it to our girls.” The court agreed and posted the matter to be heard on June 2. On May 21, special judge Kshama Joshi at the Mapusa District and Sessions Court, Goa, acquitted Tejpal from all charges of rape by a person in position of control, rape by a person in position of authority, assault with the intent of outraging modesty, assault with intent to disrobe and sexual harassment.

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