Indian Journalist Tarun Tejpal cleared of Raping Colleague

One of India’s most prominent journalists, Tarun Tejpal, has been cleared by a court of raping a female colleague.

Indian Journalist Tarun Tejpal cleared of Raping Colleague f

"we try and reclaim our broken lives".

Indian journalist Tarun Tejpal has been cleared of raping a colleague.

He is the former editor of Tehelka magazine.

In November 2013, a female colleague accused Mr Tejpal of sexually assaulting her inside a hotel lift at a Tehelka event in Goa.

Mr Tejpal initially blamed it on “a lapse of judgement” and “a misreading of the situation” which had “led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for”.

He later told the authorities to look at the CCTV footage “so the accurate version of events stands clearly revealed”.

Mr Tejpal claimed the case against him was part of a “political vendetta” by the BJP government in Goa.

Critics accused Tehelka of hypocrisy and double standards due to it covering stories on gender inequality and misogyny.

Women’s groups protested against Mr Tejpal.

He was arrested in November 2013 and was released on bail in July 2014.

He later unsuccessfully tried to get the Goa High Court and India’s Supreme Court to quash the charges.

On May 21, 2021, the trial court in Mapusa, Goa, cleared Mr Tejpal of all charges.

He had been accused of wrongful restraint, wrongful confinement, assault, sexual harassment and rape by a person in a position of authority or control.

Mr Tejpal denied the accusations and pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution had put forward a list of 156 witnesses, but in the end, approximately 70 were cross-examined.

After the case against Tarun Tejpal was dismissed, he requested privacy for his family as “we try and reclaim our broken lives”.

He said: “The past seven and a half years have been traumatic for my family as we have dealt with the catastrophic fallout of these allegations on every aspect of our personal, professional and public lives.”

Mr Tejpal also paid tribute to his lawyer Rajeev Gomes who passed away due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the prosecution is expected to appeal.

Tarun Tejpal launched Tehelka in 2000 after working for some of India’s best-known newspapers and magazines.

Tehelka soon became renowned for breaking some of India’s biggest investigative stories, specialising in “sting operations”.

Reporters posed as someone else and used secret filming to expose corruption in public life.

Operation West End is the magazine’s biggest story and it came in 2001.

Reporters posed as arms dealers, offered bribes and prostitutes and secretly filmed army officials, bureaucrats and even the president of then-ruling BJP accepting bribes to push through a bogus arms deal.

The revelation boosted Mr Tejpal’s popularity, with The Guardian calling him “India’s most feted journalist”.

He has also written three novels.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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