Tehelka forms panel to probe charges

Investigators are seeking evidence to see if Tejpal’s acts warrant prosecution for rape under the new legislation

November 22, 2013 01:24 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:23 pm IST - PANAJI/NEW DELHI:

Tehelka, in a late-night announcement, said it was appointing a committee to look into the allegations of sexual assault levelled by one of its employees. Urvashi Butalia will head it. The other members of the committee will be named later.

Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told The Hindu that he had ordered a preliminary inquiry.

Inspector-General of Police O.P. Mishra said he had asked the hotel to preserve closed circuit TV footage, and e-mailed Shoma Chowdhury, Tehelka’s managing editor, seeking documents pertaining to the case. “All these things are needed in connection with our preliminary inquiry,” Mr. Mishra said.

A top police source said investigators were seeking evidence to see if Mr. Tejpal’s acts warranted prosecution for rape, under laws legislated after the rape and murder of a Delhi woman in December 2012.

Shamima Shafiq, a member of the National Commission on Women, told The Hindu it had directed Ms. Chaudhury to set up a committee to inquire into the incident at the organisational level.

“Our next move would depend on what action the sexual harassment complaints committee recommends and whether the victim is satisfied with it,” Ms. Shafiq added.

Dropped from Prasar Bharati

Vice-President Hamid Ansari spoke to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari and decided to drop Mr. Tejpal as a member of the Prasar Bharati board. The appointment was made on Tuesday.

He cannot evade jail, says Brinda Karat

Rahi Gaikwad reports from Gaya:

Mr. Tejpal cannot evade jail under the pretext of doing penance, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said on Thursday.

“This person [Mr. Tejpal] says today that he will not work for six months and do penance. He should do penance in jail. He cannot evade jail in this manner,” Ms. Karat said at a rally of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), which was held ahead of its national conference scheduled here on Friday.

“Whatever atonement there is, it should be within the framework of law and a concrete accusation against him will get him many years in jail. Jail is the best place for his atonement. We are upset because the magazine has always reflected a democratic alternative point of view, which is different from the mainstream media. Therefore, his action has let down a much larger constituency,” she told The Hindu later.

She underscored the need for the media houses to put sexual harassment committees in place under the Vishakha guidelines that deal with sexual harassment at the workplace.

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