An additional sessions court on Friday acquitted Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal for allegedly raping his colleague in a luxury hotel in Goa. The former Tehelka editor-in-chief, who was present in the court, was accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague inside the elevator of a Goa hotel in 2013.
After the acquittal, Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal said that in November 2013 he was falsely accused of sexual assault by a colleague and today trial court of additional sessions judge in Goa has acquitted him. “In an awfully vitiated age where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank her for standing by the truth,” Tejpal said.
While the trial in the case has been completed, the judgement, which was originally scheduled to be pronounced on April 27, had been deferred on three occasions.
Advocate Rajeev Gomes, who was Tejpal’s lead defence lawyer in the case, died due to Covid-related complications last week.
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.
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 position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2)k) (rape by person in position of control).
He had earlier moved the Bombay high court, seeking a stay on the framing of charges against him, but his petition was dismissed