Tushar Mehta calls Tarun Tejpal's acquittal a failure of judiciary as an institutiontext_fields
Panaji: Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta on Tuesday said that the acquittal of former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal by a trial court in May this year was reflective of the manner in which the institution of the judiciary had failed.
During a virtual hearing at the Bombay High Court in connection with an appeal filed by the Goa government against the acquittal of Tejpal by a Goa trial court, Mehta said: "The way in which our institution has failed, I am using every word not only with sincerity but with a sense of responsibility. Our institution has failed, leaving an inevitable impression upon all victims of sexual violence or sexual onslaught that it has a deterrent effect among those who are potential victims."
While commenting on the trial, Mehta said that the way verdict would deter potential victims of sexual assault from approaching courts for justice in future.
"They would not come before your lordship or not come before the Court of law. The country has a right to know (how) this institution has dealt with the girl who came to the court with the complaint, specific allegations, precise facts (and) corroborating evidence," Mehta said.
Meanwhile, Tejpal's counsel senior advocate Amit Desai responded to Mehta's argument by saying that comments should not be passed against the institution of the judiciary, just because the Goa government did not appreciate the outcome in the Tejpal case in the trial court.
"I do believe that until the final conclusion on the matter, we should not make any comment on the institution of the judiciary, just because the Government of Goa did not appreciate the outcome," Desai said.
Desai also called for the need for sensitivities while dealing with such cases involving "our daughters".
Tejpal was charged under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code, after a junior colleague accused him of rape at a five-star resort in Goa in 2013.
The High Court which is hearing the appeal has scheduled the next hearing for August 31.