New Delhi: Tarun Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, has been acquitted of rape charges by a court in Goa. The District and Sessions Court at Mapusa in North Goa on Friday acquitted the journalist in a 2013 rape case. He was accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013. He was out on bail since 2014.
Tejpal faced trial 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 position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2)k) (rape by person in position of control).
“He has been acquitted from all charges. Order not given yet. It will be uploaded later,” Tejpal’s defence counsel said.
In a statement Tejpal said: “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. We have felt the boot of the state, but through it all we have cooperated fully with the Goa Police and the legal system, through hundreds of hours of court proceedings”.
“We have unwaveringly followed every mandate of due procedure and abided by every principle of law laid in the Constitution. We have also endeavoured to uphold every norm of decency expected in a case like this,” Tejpal said in a written statement, while thanking the court for its “rigorous, impartial and fair trial”.
Additional Session Judge Kshama Joshi reserved her verdict in the seven-year-old case, last month, Live Law reported.
He was arrested on November 18, 2013, a few days after the incident when the victim complained to Tehelka’s then managing editor, Shoma Chaudhry.
In 2017, the court had charged the journalist with rape, sexual harassment, and wrongful confinement. He challenged the charges in the Supreme Court, which said the trial in Goa must be concluded within six months.