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HC asks to remove sexual assault victim's personal info from judgement

HC asks to remove sexual assault victims personal info from judgement

Panaji: A Vacation Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa on Thursday directed the District and Sessions Court to remove the victim's identity while uploading the acquittal order on its website.

The redaction order was issued while hearing the Goa government's urgent appeal against the acquittal.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state government, observed that the judgement revealed not only the victim's identity but also the names of her mother and husband including her email id.

He also raised other issues in the judgment and told the vacation bench that the way the trial court had dealt with the case of sexual assault made it seem like "any person who is a victim of sexual assault has to exhibit her trauma" and unless she did that, she could not be believed.

"As per this judgement, any victim of sexual assault has to exhibit her trauma, and unless she does that her testimony cannot be believed, Mehta told.

Requesting the court to hear the Goa government's appeal at the earliest, Mehta said, "We owe it to our girls that the court hears it at the earliest." It was the duty of the state to file an appeal against the judgment of the trial court, he said.

The Single Bench of Justice SC Gupte has also granted 3 days to the State, to amend the grounds of appeal against the acquittal order dated May 21, which was made available on May 25. The hearing will now be held on Wed, 2nd June 2021.

In her 527-page judgement, Special Judge Kshama Joshi extensively commented on the woman's non-rape victim like behaviour and faulty investigation to grant Tejpal the benefit of the doubt.

Mehta also took objection to how the Trial Court has interpreted the action of the victim in seeking legal advice.

Tejpal was acquitted by the Goa sessions court on Monday after it raised questions on the conduct of the victim following the alleged incident and said she did not demonstrate any kind of normative behaviour that a victim of sexual assault might show.

The court also questioned the investigation mounted by the probe officer and raised issues regarding 'missing crucial CCTV evidence.

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TAGS:Bombay High Court Tarun Tejpal case 
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