Goa court acquits former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal in rape case
Former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal was acquitted in a rape case by a Goa court on Friday. He was accused of raping a colleague at his magazine's event at a five-star resort in North Goa in 2013, and was arrested on November 30 the same year.
He denied all charges against him and was later released on bail in May 2014.
Issuing a statement after the verdict, Tarun Tejpal paid his tributes to his lawyer Rajiv Gomes, who died of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) last week.
"Last week my trial lawyer, Rajiv Gomes, died of Covid. Dynamic and brilliant, at 47 he was on the brink of a scintillating career as a criminal lawyer at the national level. No person fought harder, and with greater skill, to reclaim my life and reputation," he said.
Tejpal further said he was thankful for Judge Kshama Joshi, who pronounced the judgement, for 'standing by the truth'.
"In November 2013 I was falsely accused of sexual assault by a colleague. Today the Hon'ble Trial Court of Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi, in Goa, has honourably acquitted me. In an awfully vitiated age, where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank her for standing by the truth," he said.
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He also expressed gratitude to his family members and friends for standing by him through the 'dark years'.
"I wish to make no further statement at this time and request my family's privacy be respected, as we try and reclaim our broken lives. I will make a comprehensive statement at an appropriate time in the future," he added.
The judgement was announced by the court after several rounds of deferral because of lack of staff members due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The court was earlier going to pronounce the verdict on April 27, but it was adjourned to May 12. On May 12, it was further deferred to May 19 and subsequently shifted to May 21.