Tarun Tejpal, who was accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague inside an elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013, was acquitted of all charges by a Goa court.

Tarun Tejpal, who has been acquitted of rape charges on May 21, 2021, in a black shirt.
news Tarun Tejpal Acquittal Friday, May 21, 2021 - 17:10

Hours after a court in Goa acquitted former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal in the 2013 rape case, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the government will challenge the verdict in the Bombay High Court. Tarun Tejpal, who was charged with sexually assaulting a female colleague inside an elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013, was acquitted of all charges by Additional Sessions Judge Kshma Joshi.

"We will not tolerate any injustice to be meted out to the women in Goa. We will challenge the district court's order before the high court soon in this case," said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, while talking to the media. The Chief Minister also said that he had seen the evidence on record and documents related to the case and was personally convinced that the verdict should be appealed against. Sawant said he has personally discussed the issue with the public prosecutor and the investigating officer in the case about challenging the verdict in the high court. He also said that there was enough evidence against the accused.

Read: Former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal acquitted in 2013 rape case

Special Public Prosecutor Francisco Tavora, who appeared for the complainant, said that the verdict was a "serious setback" and the state government will be preparing to file an appeal against the order in the High Court.  

Meanwhile, Tejpal, reacting to the judgment, said that he was relieved to have received justice, adding that justice was not "always a given thing in this country."

"It has been a very long nightmare for my family. I am relieved that it is finally over. And I am very grateful to have received justice because justice is not always a given thing in this country," Tejpal told reporters outside the court complex.

A First Information Report had been registered by the Goa police in 2013 after the woman’s allegations, following which Tejpal was arrested. The Goa crime branch had filed a chargesheet against Tejpal, who has been out on bail since May 2014.

Tejpal faced trial under Indian Penal Code 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).

With IANS, PTI Inputs