PANAJI: Journalist Tarun Tejpal was charged in court today with raping a junior colleague at news magazine Tehelka four years ago. The Goa court rejected Mr Tejpal’s petition to defer framing of charges by a month and also denied him exemption from appearing in person for court proceedings. The former Tehelka editor has pleaded not guilty. He has denied all the charges against him saying they are “absolutely false” and motivated by “political vendetta” and has appealed in the Bombay High Court that the case be dropped.
Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to this story:
1.Tarun Tejpal has been charged today with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman. The Goa court asked for a status report at its next hearing on November 21, on proceedings in the Bombay High Court.
2.The Bombay High Court said earlier this week that it will hear Mr Tejpal’s petition to drop the case on November 1, but had refused to stall the framing of charges. It has said that the recording of evidence, which marks the beginning of the trial, should be deferred till its decision.
3.A woman journalist who worked with Tarun Tejpal in Tehelka had in November 2013 accused the magazine’s founder-editor of sexually assaulting her during an event in Goa. The young woman said Mr Tejpal, 50, had assaulted her inside an elevator of a five-star hotel during the ThinkFest conference organised by Tehelka.
4.The woman had complained to her seniors at Tehelka and a series of leaked emails between her, Mr Tejpal and the magazine’s then Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary, were published by media. Based on the media reports, the Goa police began an investigation.
5.The woman quit her job later that month. Tarun Tejpal stepped down as Tehelka Editor soon after, saying he was “recusing” himself for six months. He was arrested on November 30, 2013.
6.The police have said that CCTV footage from the hotel corroborates the woman’s allegations against Mr Tejpal.
7.In a 2,684-page chargesheet filed before the Goa fast-track court, the police said that Tarun Tejpal assaulted the woman twice and that there is enough evidence to prove the charges against Mr Tejpal.
8.Tarun Tejpal has told judges that false allegations have been made against him as part of “political vendetta” by the BJP government in Goa because of his criticism of the party.
9.He moved the Bombay High Court after the district court in Goa’s Mapusa refused to drop charges against him.
10.Tarun Tejpal was lodged at the Sada sub-jail of Goa’s Vasco for six months before the Supreme Court granted him bail in July 2014.