Tehelka's founder-editor Tarun Tejpal was on Monday charged by the Goa police with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman journalist, after his email confessions, letter from the victim and CCTV footages were taken into account as evidences by investigators.
Seventy nine days after the famed editor was arrested for the alleged sexual harassment of his fellow woman journalist in a lift of a five-star hotel in the resort town of Bambolin in North Goa in November last year, The Crime Branch of Goa Police filed the charge-sheet in the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Panaji, accusing him of rape under the Criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2013, and several other sections of the IPC.
The former editor-in-chief of Tehelka, who is currently in Sada Jail in Goa, has been charged under all the following seven sections of the IPC:
- 347 (molestation)
- 354-A (Sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman)
- 341 (wrongful restraint)
- 342 (wrongful confinement)
- 376 (rape)
- 376(2)(f) - (rape by a person in a position of control or dominance over a woman)
Investigators have said that this was the first time someone in the country was charged under the new section, 376(2)(k) of the Criminal Law (Amemdment) Act, 2013 [rape by a relative or guardian or a person in a position of trust or authority, and rape by a person in a fiduciary position], Indian Express reports.
The charge sheet mentions that there are enough statements on record to prove Tejpal's alleged crimes. The investigating officers have noted that the confession emails he had written to his managing editor - Shoma Caudhury - on November 20 titled 'Atonement' as well as an e-mail sent to the victim on 19 November are enough to prove Tejpal's wrongdoings.
The woman's statement about Tejpal's alleged sexual harassment and a newly found CCTV footage that appears to establish the truth, seemed to have nailed the former editor down.
The footage taken at 11:26 pm on 7 November by a camera on the second floor of the hotel, shows that the victim displayed the body language - signifying discomfort- immediately after one of the alleged assaults, according to the charge-sheet
"...Tejpal and victim came out of the lift and then walked towards the staircase during which time accused is seen wiping his mouth with left hand and the victim adjusting and making her dress proper with her left hand," the charge-sheet statement read.
"...Tejpal and victim were in the lift of Guest House No. 7 for 129 seconds (2 minutes 9 seconds) as seen from the CCTV footage," it added.
Tejpal, 50, who was arrested for his alleged sexual assault of the young woman journalist on 7 and 8 November was arrested on 30 November last year.