Tarun Tejpal, the founder and former editor-in-chief of ‘Tehelka has been acquitted of all charges in the sexual assault and rape case of a junior colleague by the District and Sessions court on Tuesday.
Tejpal had been accused of sexually assaulting a woman inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa during an event in November 2013. Tejpal, who was arrested on November 30, 2013, was later released on bail and has been contesting the allegations since then.
He was tried for committing offences punishable under IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (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).
Tejpal, who has consistently denied the allegations, welcomed the ruling, describing it as “a long-fought for vindication” in a statement read out by his daughter Cara outside the court in Goa.
The statement said, “In November 2013, I (Tejpal) 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.”