Tarun Tejpal, the founder and former editor-in-chief of ‘Tehelka’ has been acquitted of all charges in the sexual assault and rape case of a junior colleague by a district court in Goa.
According to the reports, the sessions court in Goa quashed all the charges filed against Tarun Tejpal in the rape case. Earlier, Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi had reserved the verdict in the seven-year-old case. Interestingly, the trial was held in-camera at Tejpal’s instance.
The far-left journalist was accused of forcing himself on a colleague against her wishes inside an elevator of the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa, on November 7, 2013, during an official event. He had stepped down as editor for six months after being accused of sexual assault.
The Goa Police had subsequently registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Tejpal for various offences, including rape. He was arrested in November 2013 and later released on bail in July 2014.
He was charged under IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (sexual harassment), 354A(1)(I)(II)(demand for sexual favours), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 376 (2)(f) (person in a position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2)(k) (rape by a person in a position of control).
The trial against Tejpal started in 2017. Meanwhile, Tejpal had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking dismissal of the case against him, claiming that the charges were fabricated. Both High Court and Supreme Court had also dismissed the plea in 2019.
Tejpal had thanked Congress leaders
In an official statement released, Tejpal had thanked the people who helped him in the legal battle. He sad, “In these 8 years a host of outstanding lawyers came to our aid, and we owe them all a deep debt, prime among them Pramod Dubey, Aamir Khan, Ankur Chawla, Amit Desai, Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid, Aman Lekhi, Sandeep Kapoor, Raian Karanjewala, and Shrikant Shivade”. He also thanked lawyer Ravi Sharma.