Goa, the Mapusa District and Sessions Court acquitted former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal from the charges of sexual harassment and rape of his colleague in the lift of a five-star resort in the state. The case was filed by his colleague in year 2013. He said that, he has faced the ‘catastrophic fallout’ on every aspect of life due to the false allegations levelled against him.
“He is acquitted.” Special judge Kshyama Joshi pronounced the judgment.
The case at a Glance
Journalist Tarun Tejpal was arrested on November 30, 2013 and he was granted in July 2014 by the Supreme Court. He was accused of sexual assault and rape of his colleague in the lift of a five-star resort.
The Goa Crime Branch filed a 2,846-page chargesheet against Mr. Tejpal in February 2014. In September 2017, the charges was framed against him under IPC sections “341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (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)”.
Meanwhile Mr. Tejpal also filed the discharge petition and firstly moved to the sessions court, then the High Court and later the Supreme Court. The top court in August 2019, while declined his plea ordered for the trial to be held in-camera and also to conclude the case in six months time.
The survivor was cross-examined by physical appearance and also through the video-conferencing in December 2020-January 2021. More than 70 witnesses were examined and cross-examined in the case.
“The trial concluded at the end of February 2021 and, after final arguments were made by both sides, the judgment was reserved.” The Hindu published.
Mr. Tejpal statement to media
Tejpal’s daughter Cara Tejpal read out a statement on her father’s behalf. In a press statement, Mr. Tejpal thanked the judge and his lawyers, one of who died due to COVID-19.
“I thank this court for its rigorous, impartial and fair trial and its thorough examination of CCTV footage and other empirical material on record. The past seven-and-a-half years have been traumatic for my family as we have dealt with the catastrophic fallout of these false allegations on every aspect of our personal, professional and public lives,” NDTV quoted the statement.