Mehta suggested that their names may be redacted from the lower court order.
Solicitor General of India Tushar MehtaNeha JoshiPublished on : 02 Jun, 2021 , 1:06 pm
Solicitor General for India Tushar Mehta once again took exception to the description of Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Rebecca John in the judgment passed by the Goa Sessions Court acquitting Tarun Tejpal of rape and sexual assault charges.
While appearing before the Bombay High Court for the State of Goa in its appeal against the verdict today, SG Mehta said,
“Another issue I am flagging, because this is a pan-India issue [is the] remarks on Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Rebecca John. The remarks were made that they are feminists as if it is a bad thing…calling Jaising ‘brahmastra’.”
Mehta stated that the remarks made in the order against feminists especially eminent lawyers like Jaising and John were defamatory and they implied that if legal guidance was taken before filing complaint, the decision will go against the victim.
He thus suggested that their names may be redacted from the lower court order. Justice SC Gupta, however, said that since he was the vacation judge, this request could wait.
The Court ultimately issued notice in the matter, noting that there was a prima facie case made out in the appeal.
In its May 21 judgment acquitting Tejpal, the Sessions Court had opined that the prosecutrix may have doctored the events relating to the case with the help of experts. Reference was made to how the prosecutrix approached the two women Senior Advocates, who guided her through the process of filing a complaint.
The Court had noted that the prosecutrix had saved the mobile number of Jaising, who was a friend of her mother’s, as ‘Brahmastra’.
When the appeal was first heard by the High Court on May 27, Mehta had defended Jaising, saying,
“This girl who is victim of sexual abuse, by person who is father’s friend, approached eminent counsel Indira Jaising for advice. According to me it was right, approaching a lawyer of her repute…Then there is submission that this may have led to doctoring of events. To accuse a lawyer of her stature of doctoring?”
In its amended appeal filed before the High Court, the State of Goa contended that consulting Senior Advocates did not lessen the credibility of the prosecutrix, and that the Sessions Judge made unwarranted remarks regarding her sexual history.
courtesy Bar and Bench
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