In a separate ruling, another Supreme Court judge recused himself from hearing a case filed by Tehelka magazine's former editor Tarun Tejpal against the Bombay High Court.The Goa government appealed his acquittal in a sexual assault case before the Supreme Court of India, which refused to hear it in camera.
Tejpal's appeal was dismissed by Justice U.U. Lalit. On January 21, Justice L Nageswara Rao was disqualified to hear the case because he represented the state of Goa as a lawyer in 2015. "Please list this before some other court," he asked.
On December 4, last year, Tejpal moved the top court to contest the high court's dismissal of his case, contending that every party has the right to put forth their case as best as they can.If lawyers are told they will have to curtail their submissions because a publication may publish something without exercising due care, that wouldn't be fair, it was argued.
Tejpal sought an in camera hearing in his case as well, citing a recent decision by the High Court that calls for in camera hearings in cases involving the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.
He was acquitted by the trial court in May last year of all charges, including wrongful confinement, assault with intent to outrage modesty, sexual harassment, and rape against his female colleague.
He moved for an in-camera hearing when the government filed an appeal challenging his acquittal.
An appeal argued that the trial court ruling was influenced by extraneous and inadmissible material, and by graphic testimony and details about the victim's past sexual history, which is illegal.