The founder-editor of Tehelka magazine was accused of sexually assaulting a colleague in 2013 on the sidelines of a conference at a five-star resort in Goa
Panaji: A sessions court in Goa on Friday acquitted journalist Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting a former female colleague.
Tejpal, former Tehelka editor-in-chief, was accused of sexually assaulting the colleague inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013.
The court had earlier adjourned pronouncement of the verdict in the case on three occasions, citing various reasons.
The court was to deliver the verdict on 27 April, but the judge had adjourned it to 12 May. It was further adjourned to 19 May and later again to 21 May.
The Goa police registered an FIR against Tejpal in November 2013 following which he was arrested. The Goa crime branch had filed a charge sheet against Tejpal, who has been out on bail since May 2014.
“In November 2013 I was falsely accused of sexual assault by a colleague. Today the Hon’ble Trial Court of Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi, in Goa, has honourably acquitted me. In an awfully vitiated age, where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank her for standing by the truth,” said Tejpal in a press release on Friday.
It is with profound respect that I thank this court for its rigorous, impartial and fair trial and for its thorough examination of the CCTV footage and other empirical material on record, read the statement.
He 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 a position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2)k) (rape by a person in a position of control).
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