Goa Court Acquits Tehelka's Tarun Tejpal of Rape and Sexual Harassment

Tejpal's acquittal comes eight years after the incident took place in 2013 in a high-end Goa hotel.

A Goa sessions court on Friday acquitted journalist Tarun Tejpal of rape and sexual assault of his former female colleague. Tejpal's acquittal comes eight years after the case was registered in 2013.

Tejpal, the former founder and editor of Tehelka Magazine, was accused of sexually assaulting his female colleague in an elevator of a high-end hotel in Goa. Tejpal was arrested in November 2013 and was released on bail in July 2014.

The trial in the Goa sessions court began in 2017, however, Tejpal had moved Bombay High Court seeking to quash the charges filed against him. In his plea, which was dismissed, Tejpal submitted that the charges against him were fabricated. The Supreme Court had dismissed his appeal against the Bombay High Court order in August 2019.

"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," Tejpal said in a press release. In his release, Tejpal also acknowledged the role of his advocate Rajeev Gomes, who died by covid on May 12.

"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 co-operated fully with the Goa police and the legal system, through hundreds of court proceedings. We have unwaveringly followed every mandate of due procedure and abided by every principle of law as laid down in the Constitution. We have also endeavoured to uphold every norm of decency expected in a case like this," the press release issued through his advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey read.

Editor's Note: More details from the court order are awaited. We will update the copy once the detailed order is released

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