M A I N   N E W S

Tejpal booked for rape
On his trail, Goa Police reaches Delhi as Tehelka editor faces arrest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka Tarun Tejpal faces imminent arrest and a jail term of not less than 10 years extending up to life with the Goa Police today booking him on rape, aggravated sexual assault and sexual harassment charges under new provisions of the reworked anti-rape law which Parliament passed earlier this year.

Tejpal became the first high-profile person today to face stringent provisions under the new sexual assault law amended after the December 16 gang-rape case and is said to have been booked by the police under Sections 375, 376 (1), 376 (2) and 354.

As per new provisions, rape is defined not just as peno-vaginal penetration but also penetration of a woman’s private parts with any part of a man’s body besides the penis.

"An FIR has been filed on charges of rape and outraging of modesty against Tejpal," said Goa DGP Kishan Kumar. The Centre, too, sought details of the case from the Goa Police terming the matter as "very serious".

The FIR has been filed after Tejpal’s colleague at Tehelka accused him of sexually assaulting her on November 7 and 8 in a Goa hotel elevator during the magazine’s Think Fest. With the Goa Police exercising its powers of taking suo motu note of a cognisable offence (as per Supreme Court guidelines), the matter has now gone out of the hands of Tehelka which is facing accusations of a cover-up.

Managing Editor Tehelka Shoma Chaudhary, however, defended her stand saying she acted on the victim’s complaint which came on Monday and “angrily confronted Tejpal asking him to tender an unconditional apology”. She insisted that the apology was all that the victim had sought and since the victim was now dissatisfied with the same, Tehelka had constituted a sexual harassment complaint committee to probe charges against Tejpal. The head of the committee Urvashi Butalia is considered close to Tejpal and it has raised many eyebrows. Shoma created another storm today saying Tejpal had a different version of the whole episode and whether it was consensual or non-consensual.

Charges against Tejpal

  • Rape (Sections 375, 376 IPC): Punishable with an imprisonment of not less than 7 years and up to life
  • Aggravated assault (Section 376 2 IPC): Sexual assault by a person in a position of authority or trust; punishable with rigorous imprisonment of not less than 10 years and up to the natural life of a person
  • Sexual harassment (Section 354 1 and B—using criminal force with the intent to disrobe a woman and making unwelcome sexual advances): Punishable with not less than 3 years RI and up to 7 years.





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