Goa cops to register rape charge against Tejpal, if...

NDTV, PANAJI | 22 November 2013 11:28 IST

Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting a young colleague, may face rape charges if the allegations are proved, the Goa police today said.

"We are fully aware of the definition of rape, we will incorporate rape charges against Mr Tejpal, if substantiated," Goa Deputy Inspector General OP Mishra told NDTV.

The Goa police started their own investigation on Thursday into a journalist's allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Mr Tejpal on two consecutive days at a hotel where the magazine's team was staying for an event organised two weeks ago.

The police said from the details of the woman's account, the assault could be described as rape. The redefinition of the term 'rape' had been among the sweeping changes in law that followed the nationwide outrage over the fatal gang-rape of a student in Delhi last December.

Mr Tejpal admitted "misconduct" in an email to managing editor Shoma Chaudhury, attributing his behaviour to "a bad lapse of judgement, an awful misreading of the situation." He said he had "recused" himself for six months from office as "penance that lacerates me". (Read: Tarun Tejpal's letter)

The National Commission for Women has told the Goa police to file an FIR, or police complaint, based on his admission.

After being lashed by criticism over its appalling response, Tehelka belatedly set up a probe last night and said a committee headed by noted women's rights activist and author Urvashi Butalia would investigate the allegations. (Read: Statement released by Tehelka)

Ms Chaudhury had told reporters earlier, "He (Tejpal) stepped down. It was not something she'd asked for. It was over and above that." (Watch)

A source close to the woman told NDTV that while pleading with Mr Tejpal to stop assaulting her, the journalist urged him to remember that he is her father's age.

The scandal took on political overtones as BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday alleged a cover-up due to Mr Tejpal's "connections in the Congress." (read Arun Jaitley's comments)

Original Report

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