Panaji: The Goa government lost the rape case against former editor-in-chief of Tehelka following a metropolitan magistrate court’s acquittal of senior journalist Tarun Tejpal here on Friday. The rape charges were filed by a junior colleague of Tejpal, who had accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her in a five-star resort in Goa in 2013.
However, Tejpal’s acquittal couldn’t please Goa government that said it will not tolerate any wrong doing to a woman, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said after the verdict. Sawant vowed to move Bombay High Court challenging the verdict.
According to Special Public Prosecutor Francisco Tavora, the verdict was a “serious setback” and the Goa government will prepare to file an appeal against the order in the High Court.
Tejpal had been booked under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.
“He has been acquitted from all charges. Order not given yet. It will be uploaded later,” Tejpal’s defence counsel was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
Tejpal though said that he was relieved to have got 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 media persons outside the court complex.
“The past seven and a half years have been traumatic for my family as we have dealt with the catastrophic fallout of these false allegations on every aspect of our personal professional and public lives. We have felt the boot of the state, but through it all we have cooperated fully with the Goa Police and the legal system, through hundreds of hours of court proceedings.
“We have unwaveringly followed every mandate of due procedure and abided by every principle of law laid in the Constitution. We have also endeavoured to uphold every norm of decency expected in a case like this,” Tejpal was quoted as saying in a written statement.