The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected Tarun Tejpal's application seeking an in-camera hearing of the proceedings challenging his acquittal in a 2013 rape case.
The acquittal of the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, who was accused of sexually assaulting his then woman colleague in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013, by a sessions court in May this year was challenged in the Goa bench of the HC by the state government.
On Wednesday, a bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and M S Jawalkar rejected Tejpal's application for conducting an in-camera hearing of the proceedings under section 327 of the CrPC.
Advocate Amit Desai, who appeared for Tejpal, referred to the Law Commission and various judgments of high courts supporting his application for an in-camera hearing.
"I can't be restrained because my right to appeal and argue the matter before the lordship in an effective manner cannot be curtailed merely because all the time I would be looking over my shoulder and afraid that somebody outside is going to listening and writing about this matter," Desai said.
Tejpal's lawyer said his client might have to say something which might expose certain facts in relation which should not be published in the media. But my fundamental right to defend myself cannot be taken away in this matter, he argued.
Section 327 gives rise to complete prohibition on publication of proceedings. Once there is a complete prohibition, and that constitutes a contempt, the lordship will see that those provisions are applied when they are in-camera, Desai told the bench.