After almost eight years of litigation on the charges of sexually assaulting a female colleague, the Tahelka media chief Tarun Tejpal was finally acquitted by the Goa court from all the charges. After the pronouncement of his acquittal, Tejpal released a press note telling about his innocence and the ordeal faced by him and his family members due to the false case. He also thanked his lawyer, late Rajeev Gomes for bringing him out of this mess.
The former Tehelka Chief was accused of sexually assaulting one of his female intern inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013, and he was facing the trial under various sections of criminal procedure, 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).
The order pronouncement of 21 May by the Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi has acquitted Tejpal of all the above charges, while more details of the order are still awaited.
The pronouncement of the order has been kept postponing on several occasions and the final date of May 19 was also been adjoined by the Judge due to there reason of “Power Failure” Several parts of Goa have been witnessing power outages since Sunday due to cyclonic storm Tauktae. The Public prosecutor Francis Tavora had told reporters outside the court
This was the third time that the court adjourned pronouncement of the verdict in the case. Earlier, the court was to deliver the verdict on April 27, but the judge had adjourned it to May 12. On May 12, it was further adjourned to May 19.
Earlier the court kept adjourning the pronouncement of judgment due to lack of staff due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Tejpal was present in the court along with some of his family members and lawyers.
Media persons were barred from entering the court. Heavy police security was deployed around the court building, located in Mapusa town near the state capital Panaji. Tejpal refused to speak to reporters after the court adjourned pronouncement of the verdict in the case.
The Goa police registered an FIR against Tejpal in November 2013 following which he was arrested. He has been out on bail since May 2014. The Goa crime branch had filed a charge sheet against Tejpal.
He had earlier moved the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay on the framing of charges against him, but his petition was dismissed.