‘No template of apt behaviour after assault’: Experts weigh in on verdict
The former editor of Tehelka journal was accused of raping a junior colleague in an elevator of a five-star resort in Goa through the THiNK competition in November 2013. The complainant alleged that Tejpal had raped her in a elevate within the resort on November 7 and tried to assault her once more on November 8. Tejpal, who refuted the costs in court docket, was acquitted by the fast-track court docket on May 21. The Goa authorities filed an attraction towards the decision within the Bombay excessive court docket.
The printouts of photographs clearly proves that the prosecutrix was absolutely in a good mood, happy, normal and smiling at the time she did not look distressed or traumatized in any manner whatsoever though this was immediately a few minutes after she claims to have been sexually assaulted by the accused putting her in a state of panic and trauma.
Women right activists level out that there isn’t a template of appropriate behaviour after and even throughout an incident of sexual assault, rape and harassment. Often survivors really feel the necessity to seem “normal” out of worry of retribution by the assailant.
In an inside electronic mail despatched within the days following the incident, Tejpal had mentioned: “I apologise unconditionally for the shameful lapse of judgement that led me to attempt a sexual liaison with you on two occasions on 7 November and 8 November 2013, despite your clear reluctance that you did not want such attention from me.”
However, the decide mentioned that the e-mail didn’t represent an act of contrition.
The Mapusa classes court acquitted journalist TarunTejpal, who was being tried for raping a junior colleague, and contended that the survivor’s account neither demonstrates any kind of normative behaviour on her own part that a prosecutrix of sexual assault on consecutive two nights might plausibly show, nor does it demonstrate any such behaviour on the part of the accused.
In the judgment, a duplicate of which was made obtainable, Additional Sessions decide Kshama Joshi mentioned that the prosecutrix didn’t show herself a sterling witness, and pulled up the Goa police, which was investigating the case, for destroying proof that was inconvenient to the investigation and would have proved Tejpal’sdefence. Admitting that the only real testimony of a rape survivor is sufficient to put an accused behind bars if her deposition is of “sterling quality, the decide went on to notice that the complainant’s behaviour after the purported rape was inconsistent with the costs.
The circumstances’ plausibility and above all, the requirement of the prosecutrix to prove herself a sterling witness are essential in law before lending absolute credence to her word. Yet, at every stage, anomalies, discrepancies, wild inaccuracies, improvements, omissions, contradictions and sheer impossibilities mark the narrative of the prosecutrix and yet the IO [investigating officer] and the prosecution have turned a blind eye to them at every stage,the 527-page judgement said.
Court docked mentioned that the email titled ‘personal’ is looked at it will reveal that there is absolutely no admission or confession of any incriminating fact even remotely suggesting sexual assault by the accused on the prosecutrix in the email. The word sexual assault or any of its attributes are neither implicitly nor explicitly stated in the said personal email. Even assuming that the personal email was sent to the prosecutrix, the contention of the accused that the said email had been sent involuntarily and against his wish and therefore would not be admissible against the accused has to be accepted.
The court docket additional famous that the investigating officer within the case collected the footage from the bottom flooring, first and second flooring of the resort however failed to supply footage for the primary flooring which the decide referred to as a “material lapse by the investigation officer”.
It was further mentioned by the court that It can be said that because the footage of the First Floor would have wholly destroyed the prosecution’s case, the IO sought to keep out the relevant footage for the First Floor and render it unavailable.
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