#MeToo: Editors Guild suspends M.J. Akbar, Tarun Tejpal

Guild to seek a formal response from “DNA” newspaper’s founding editor Gautam Adhikari.

December 12, 2018 07:56 pm | Updated 07:57 pm IST

M.J. Akbar at an event in Bengaluru on June 26, 2018.

M.J. Akbar at an event in Bengaluru on June 26, 2018.

Former editors M.J. Akbar and Tarun Tejpal were suspended from the Editors Guild of India on December 12. The executive committee of the EGI has also decided seek a formal response from journalist Gautam Adhikari on the charges against him.

Mr. Akbar has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment when he was their boss. In October, Mr. Akbar resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs following the allegations.

Mr. Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine , has been charged for alleged sexual assault of a junior female colleague in a Goa hotel in November 2013. He was subsequently arrested and is out on bail. Mr. Adhikari, a founding editor of the Daily News and Analysis newspaper, is also accused of sexual misconduct by at least three women.

Here is the full statement of the Editors Guild of India:

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) had sought the views of its Executive Committee (EC) on what action should be taken against Mr M.J. Akbar, a dormant member at present and one of its past presidents, Mr Tarun Tejpal and Mr Gautam Adhikari in light of the charges of sexual misconduct levelled against them by several women journalists. Mr Akbar’s lawyer‘s response to the Guild’s show-cause notice was also shared with the EC.

A majority of the EC members suggested that the membership of Mr Akbar should be suspended. There was also consensus that Mr Tejpal be suspended too, until the conclusion of his trial and the Guild should write to Mr Adhikari to seek his response.

Office-bearers of the Guild discussed the EC’s comments and took the decision on the matter. It has concurred with the majority view that Mr Akbar should be suspended from the Guild till such time that the court case he has filed is concluded. Using the same logic, the Office-bearers decided that Mr Tejpal too should be suspended from the Guild. For Mr Adhikari, the Office-bearers decided that the Guild will write to him seeking a formal response to the charges against him.

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