High Court Suspends Bailable Warrant Against Survivor In Tarun Tejpal Case

Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted a female colleague inside an elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013.

Khushi Gupta
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High Court Suspends Bailable Warrant Against Survivor In Tarun Tejpal Case

The High Court of Bombay in Goa suspended a bailable warrant issued against the survivor by the Mapusa fast-track court, which is hearing the rape case against Tarun Tejpal. The fast-track court at Mapusa had issued a bailable warrant against the survivor on September 4. The court had authorised the investigating officer from Goa Police to execute the warrant. The survivor had challenged this order. Following her move, Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu suspended the warrant clarifying that “the stay, however, is confined only to suspension of the warrant. The trial may go on unhindered.”


Survivor in Tarun Tejpal case was issued available warrant

When summoned by the trial court, the survivor had sought cross-examination via video conferencing alleging that she is unable to attend court proceedings in person due to COVID-19 pandemic and personal health concerns. However, Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi had rejected two applications from the survivor in this matter and proceeded to issue a bailable warrant with a bond of 5000 rupees. Following this, the survivor moved an ‘out of turn’ petition before the HC.

"The petitioner herself is a victim who lives in Delhi. She points out that recently she had an attack of severe lung infection. Therefore she does not want to undertake any journey during the pandemic,” Justice Naidu noted in his order suspending the available warrant, as reported by The Indian Express.

Also Read:- Why We Need A Global Pact To End Workplace Sexual Harassment

Cross-examine over video conferencing, says survivor

ASJ Joshi had summoned the survivor for cross-examination on September 2 initially. After failing to be present, the woman had asked permission to be present at Goa Sadan in Delhi for a video conference link to the court. She said that she is the sole caregiver to her parent and in-laws, all of whom are senior citizens and fall under high-risk group during the pandemic. She also reveal that she had a lung condition.


She added that the cross-examination at her end would be monitored by an independent, impartial official authority appointed by the court. Rejecting the appeal, the trial court explained that video-conferencing with sketchy internet networks in Goa cannot be a substitute.

Previously, the survivor had also approached the HC, alleging that Tejpal’s lawyers were asking her "scandalous" and "irrelevant questions" during cross-examination at the trial court.

Also Read:- 10% Women Face Sexual Harassment At Workplace, Says Study

About The Case

Journalist, publisher, novelist and former editor-in-chief of Tehlaka magazine, Tarun Tejpal had stepped down from his post in 2013 after a female colleague accused him of sexual assault. She alleged that Tejpal had sexually assaulted her inside an elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013.

Tejpal was arrested on 30 November 2013 by the crime branch after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court. He has been out on bail since May 2014. The district court had framed charges against the journalist in September 2018. Tejpal was booked under various Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 350 (criminal force), 376 (rape) and 354(A) and (B) (sexually coloured remarks and use of criminal force on woman). He had earlier moved the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay on the framing of charges against him, but his petition was dismissed.

Khushi Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

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