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Tarun Tejpal acquitted in sexual harassment case

“He is acquitted.” Special judge Kshyama Joshi pronounced the judgment.

The Mapusa District and Sessions Court in Goa on Friday acquitted journalist Tarun Tejpal in the 2013 sexual harassment case against him.

Mr. Tejpal was accused of raping his colleague in the elevator of a five-star hotel. He was arrested on November 30, 2013 by the Goa Crime Branch and was granted bail on July 1, 2014 by the Supreme Court. In February 2014, the Goa Crime Branch filed a 2,846-page chargesheet against Mr Tejpal.   

No journalists were allowed inside court due to COVID 19 protocols, public prosecutor Francisco Tavora told The Hindu, “He is acquitted.” Special judge Kshyama Joshi pronounced the judgment and the reasons for acquittal will be known in due course of time.   

On September 29, 2017, the court framed charges under with 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 position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376 (2)(k) (rape by person in position of control) of the Indian Penal Code against him.

The trial began in September 2017 and however kept getting delayed because Mr. Tejpal moved the High Court and the Supreme Court to challenge the charges framed against him and instead sought a discharge in the case.

In August 2019, the Supreme Court declined his plea and ordered that the trial be held in camera and be completed in six months.

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