Goa court gives benefit of doubt to Tarun Tejpal in sexual assault case, finds fault with probe

A trial court in Goa gave the benefit of the doubt to journalist Tarun Tejpal whereas acquitting him in a sexual assault case and noticed that there was no proof to help the allegations made by the complainant lady.

The order copy of the May 21 court verdict in the November 2013 case was made obtainable on Tuesday.

Tejpal, Tehelka newsmagazine’s founder-editor who was charged with sexually assaulting a former lady colleague contained in the elevator of a luxurious resort in the state, was acquitted by the Sessions Court here on last Friday.

Judge Kshama Joshi, in her detailed written order, has mentioned that “upon considering evidences on record, benefit of doubt is given to the accused because there is no corroborative evidence supporting the allegations made by the complainant girl.”

In the 500-page order, the court has noticed that the Investigating Officer or IO (Crime Branch officer Sunita Sawant) didn’t conduct investigation on very important factors of the eight-year-old case.

“It cannot be lost site (sight) that rape causes the greatest distress and humiliation to the victim but at the same time a false allegation of rape can cause an equal distress and humiliation and damage to the accused as well,” the choose famous.

Also Read: My family had to deal with catastrophic fallout of false allegations: Tejpal after acquittal

Rejecting the assertion that the sufferer was traumatised, the court has mentioned some of the WhatsApp messages of the lady present she was not traumatised as claimed and had plans to keep in Goa after the official occasion (organised by the journal) the place the alleged crime was dedicated.

The court has mentioned the assertion of the lady’s mom “do not corroborate or support the statement of the complainant girl that she was in trauma due to alleged rape, as neither the complainant girl nor her mother changed their plans.”

The choose noticed that the complainant has made many conflicting statements.

“There are many evidence on record which create doubt on the truthfulness of the complainant girl,” the court mentioned.

Pointing out loopholes in the probe, the choose mentioned it’s the elementary proper of the accused to have a good investigation however the IO has dedicated omission and fee whereas conducting the investigation.

The choose has mentioned the Investigating Officer destroyed essential piece of proof in phrases of CCTV footage of the first flooring of seventh block of the resort, which was clear proof of innocence of the accused.

“Sunita Sawant being the (initial) complainant (Goa police took suo motu cognisance of the allegations) can not be Investigation Officer in the case but she did not move any proposal to her superiors to hand over the investigation to other officer,” the court famous.

The court has not dominated out the likelihood of tampering with some CCTV footage contained in the resort.

The choose mentioned the Investigating Officer didn’t confirm the operation and functioning of the raise panel of block 7 (of the resort) to show that opening of raise will be stopped or not.

“IO did not investigate whether the lift can be prevented from opening or can be kept in circuit by pressing a button as alleged by the complainant girl,” the court mentioned.

“The IO did not investigate the fact that there is an incoming phone and an emergency stop button to use in the emergency situation,” the choose has additional mentioned.

The order has mentioned the CCTV footage signifies that the raise in truth opened twice on the bottom flooring whereas the lady claimed the raise didn’t open in any respect.

“The IO has admitted that there is contradiction between CCTV footage and statement of the complainant girl, yet IO did not record supplementary statement,” the trial court mentioned.

“It is crucial to note that the contradictions are often so glaring that the exact opposite of what the complainant girl is claiming yet IO did not question the complainant girl. It is settled proposition that acquittal of the accused can not result due to defects in the investigation, the evidences have to be scrutinised independently,” the choose mentioned The court mentioned the prosecution has failed to discharge the burden proving the guilt of the accused past cheap doubt.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Goa authorities challenged the acquittal order in the Bombay High Court.

Also Read: Tarun Tejpal acquitted in rape case: What was the case about?

Also Watch: Goa court acquits journalist Tarun Tejpal of rape charges

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