Tarun Tejpal case - a timeline

Updated - May 21, 2021 10:53 am IST

Published - February 17, 2014 06:40 pm IST

A Goa court is likely to pronounce its verdict in the Tarun Tejpal case on May 19, where the former editor of investigative magazine Tehelka was accused of rape by an employee.

Here is the timeline of events.

November 7, 2013: Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal, sexually assaults a woman employee inside a lift of the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa, on the opening night of Tehelka’s Think festival.

The woman journalist writes to Managing Editor of Tehelka Shoma Chaudhary explaining her ordeal. In the letter, she tells Ms. Chaudhary how she was lured into, and imprisoned within, the lift, which was then manipulated by Mr. Tejpal to make it “stay in circuit”. The letter leaks in several media and the issue comes to public.

November 20, 2013: Tarun Tejpal, in a letter to Managing Editor of Tehelka Shoma Chaudhary , admits to “misconduct” against a woman journalist and offers to recuse himself from the post and the office for six months.

Mr. Tejpal says, “The last few days have been most testing, and I squarely take the blame for this... A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for.”

“I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further,” he adds.

November 22, 2013: National Commission for Women takes suo motu cognisance of media reports, writes to Goa Police to file an FIR in the case. Separately, Goa government hands over the case to the crime branch.

November 22, 2013: In a late-night announcement, Tehelka says it is appointing a committee to look into the allegations of sexual assault levelled by one of its employees. Urvashi Butalia will head it.

November 23, 2013: The victim says attempts were being made to pressurise and influence her family members . She tells The Hindu : "“On the night of 22nd of November 2013, a member of Mr. Tejpal’s immediate family came to my mother’s house in New Delhi, asking my mother to protect Mr. Tejpal and demanded to know 1) who I was seeking legal help from and 2) what I “wanted” as the result of my complaint of sexual molestation by Mr. Tejpal, that was made to the Tehelka management earlier this week."

November 23, 2013: Two days after launching a probe into the incident, Goa Police books Tarun Tejpal under various sections including  Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, rape and outraging the modesty of a woman.

November 25, 2013: The victim quits Tehelka . In her letter, the woman says she had trusted Ms. Chaudhury to take appropriate action, but had been disappointed by her failure to do so. Tehelka consulting editor Jay Mazoomdaar and assistant editor Revati Laul had earlier submitted their resignation to protest the magazine management’s handling of the case.

November 26, 2013: Noted feminist Urvashi Butalia refuses to head Tehelka's internal probe panel. She says such a panel "is redundant now." Tehelka says several other people who had been contacted had likewise refused.

November 28, 2013: Under fire from various quarters, including the media, for the way she handled a junior colleague’s sexual harassment charge against Mr. Tejpal, managing editor Shoma Chaudhury resigns from the post.

On the same day, Sarika Faldesai, Judicial Magistrate First Class in Panaji, Goa, issues a non-bailable arrest warrant against  Tehelka  Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal.

November 30, 2013: Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal is arrested after Sessions Court judge Anuja Prabhudesai rejected his anticipatory bail application.

February 17, 2014: The Crime Branch of Goa police files a chargesheet against former Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal before Judicial Magistrate First Class, Panaji, charging him with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of his employee and female journalist.

The 2846-page chargesheet filed by Inspector and Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant, which includes 132 pages of main chargesheet, 30 pages of depositions and statements of witnesses and 2684 pages of annexure papers, said Tejpal had committed offences punishable under sections 354, 354-A, 341, 342, 376, 376(2) (f) and 376(2) (k) IPC. The evidence includes the statements of the victim, other witnesses, documents and electronic records.

Mr. Tejpal continues to be in judicial custody in Sada sub jail at Vasco.

July 1, 2014: Mr. Tejpal secures bail from Supreme Court after spending nearly six months in jail.

September 28, 2017: A trial court in Goa formally frames the charge of rape against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal in connection with an alleged rape and sexual abuse case filed against him in November, 2013.

March 15, 2018:  The in-camera trial in the sexual abuse case against Mr. Tejpal, begins with a court in Mapusa, North Goa, recording the statement of the victim. Mediapersons have been barred from the courtroom during the trial.

December 12, 2018: Editors Guild suspends Tarun Tejpal and M.J. Akbar, both accused of sexual harassment in workplace. Here is the Guild's statement.

May 21, 2021: Journalist Tarun Tejpal is acquitted in the 2013 sexual harassment and rape case of his colleague by the Mapusa District and Sessions Court in Goa

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