Supreme Court judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao on Friday recused from hearing the plea by former editor of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal, against the Bombay High Court, which had declined to entertain his application for in-camera hearing of the appeal filed by the Goa government against his acquittal in sexual assault case.
The matter was listed before a bench of Justices Rao and B.R. Gavai. Justice Rao said that he had appeared for the Goa government as a lawyer in 2015. “Please list this before some other court,” he said.
Tejpal moved the top court on December 4, last year, challenging the dismissal of his application by the high court. He contended that every party has a right to place forth their case in the best possible manner. The plea argued that it would not be fair, if lawyers have to curtail their submissions in the backdrop that some publication may publish something, without exercising due care.
Citing a recent order by Bombay High Court, which passed directions for in-camera hearings in cases under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, Tejpal sought an in-camera proceeding in his matter too.
In May, last year, the trial court acquitted Tejpal of all charges levelled against him, including wrongful confinement, assault with intent to outrage modesty, sexual harassment, and rape against his female colleague. The Goa government filed an appeal challenging his acquittal by the trial court. Tejpal moved the high court with an application seeking in-camera hearing of the matter.
The appeal contended that trial court order was influenced by extraneous and inadmissible material and by testimonies and graphic details of the past sexual history of the victim, which is prohibited by law.
7 soldiers killed, 19 injured in Ladakh road accident
Seven soldiers were killed and 19 others injured in a road accident in Ladakh on Friday, defence sources said.
According to the sources, 26 soldiers were injured in the road accident in Turtuk area of Ladakh.
“Seven soldiers died on the spot while 19 others were injured. The injured soldiers have been airlifted to military hospital in Chandigarh,” a defence source said.
Human-animal conflict, elephant shot dead in Karnataka
The conflict between man and wildlife has come to the fore in Karnataka once again. On Friday, an elephant was shot dead in an agricultural field near Alur taluk in Hassan district.
Forest officials said that the elephant was a 20-year-old male. They are gathering information to trace the culprits.
Sources said that about 5 elephants have died unnatural deaths in the region in the past 1 year.
The villagers maintain that their repeated appeals to address the elephant menace is falling on deaf ears. “The government has closed their eyes on us. We are struggling and fighting to protect the crop that we grow for food,” they said.
There are more than 20 wild elephants in the region and they destroy crops and attack villagers. However, though protests are staged, the authorities do not bother about the problem, the villagers stated.
Forest officials maintain that the killing was the result of human-animal conflict. An investigation will be conducted and the killers would be nabbed, they said.
Hybrid terrorist arrested in Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir police and security forces have arrested one hybrid terrorist belonging to the LeT along with arms and ammunition from Bemina area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar district, officials said on Friday.
Police said acting on a specific tip-off about the movement of terrorists Bemina area, a joint checkpoint was set-up by Srinagar Police, Army’s 2nd RR and valley QAT CRPF at Bemina crossing.
“An individual suspiciously approaching towards the checkpoint was challenged who tried to flee from spot but was apprehended tactfully by the alert party,” police said.
He has been identified himself as Nasir Ahmad Dar, resident of Gund Brath Sopore. On his personal search, one pistol, one magazine and five live rounds were recovered from his possession.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that, the arrested accused was working as a hybrid terrorist of proscribed terror outfit LeT outfit and was involved in delivering pistols in Srinagar city to carry out targeted killings,” a police officer said.
A case has been registered and further investigation is in progress.
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