Tejpal’s lead lawyer succumbs to Covid-19

Former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s defence lawyer Rajeev Gomes died following Covid-related complications at a private hospital in South Goa district late on Wednesday.

The 47-year-old lawyer was Tejpal’s lead lawyer in the rape trial, whose long-drawn proceedings wound up earlier this year.

The death occurred on the same day when a trial court adjourned the pronouncement of judgement in the case, due to paucity of staff. Goa is currently in the midst of a 14-day curfew which ends on May 23.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant as well as Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat condoled the death of the advocate, who was considered as one of the top young lawyers in the state.

“Saddened by the passing away of prominent Goan lawyer Adv. Rajeev Gomes. May God give strength to his family to bear this great loss. My heartfelt condolence,” Sawant said.

“Feeling devastated with the passing away of eminent lawyer Adv. Rajeev Gomes. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” Kamat said.

Gomes had emerged as the face of the defence team in the rape case filed against the former Tehelka editor.

Tejpal has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.