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Former Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal Acquitted in 2013 Rape Case

A case was filed against Tarun Tejpal for allegedly sexually assaulting a former colleague in 2013.

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Gender
2 min read
File image of former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.
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A Goa trial court on Friday, 21 May, acquitted former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, who was accused of raping and sexually assaulting a former colleague in 2013.

Tejpal was accused of forcing himself on the woman, inside an elevator of the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa in 2013, during the news magazine's official event – the THiNK 13 festival.

He was booked 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).

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, however, said that the state government will appeal against this verdict in the High Court.

“The government is very serious about this,” Sawant said, reported ANI.

‘I Thank Court for Impartial Trial’: Tejpal After Verdict

Tarun Tejpal's daughter Cara Tejpal read out a statement on her father's behalf, which said that he was "falsely accused" of sexual assault.

"It is with profound respect that I thank this court for its rigorous, impartial, and fair trial and for its thorough examination of CCTV footage and other empirical material on record," it read.

“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.”  
Tarun Tejpal’s Statement After Verdict

“I'm very grateful to have received justice because it is not always the given thing in this country anymore,” he added.

While the trial in the seven-year-old case was completed earlier this year, the verdict was deferred on three occasions.

The former editor was arrested in November 2013, following an FIR by the Goa Police. He was, however, granted bail in May 2014.

He had earlier moved the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay on the framing of charges against him. But his petition was dismissed and the Goa Police filed a 2,846-page chargesheet against Tejpal.

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State to Challenge Order

The state government will be appealing against the verdict in the High Court, said Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

When asked what were the grounds on which he was acquitted, Public Prosecuter Francis Tavora said, “We are awaiting the judgement copy. But the state for sure is going to challenge this order.”

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