MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal suspended from Editors Guild of India
The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has decided to suspend the membership of former editors MJ Akbar and Tarun Tejpal till the conclusion of their respective trials in sexual misconduct cases. The decision was taken by the office bearers of the guild on Wednesday.
“The guild sought the views of its Executive Committee (EC) on what action should be taken against Mr MJ Akbar, a dormant member at present and one of its past presidents, Mr Tarun Tejpal and Mr Gautam Adhikari in light of the charges of sexual misconduct levelled against them by several women journalists,” the guild said in a statement.
“A majority of the EC members suggested that the membership of Mr Akbar should be suspended. There was also consensus that Mr Tejpal be suspended too, until the conclusion of his trial and the Guild should write to Mr Adhikari to seek his response,” it said.
Last month after the guild put out a list of its members, which included Akbar and Tejpal’s names, there was a demand from within the media body asking for their removal.
Akbar has been accused by several women of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour at various stages of his journalistic career. He had stepped down as the minister of state for external affairs in October after Priya Ramani and a number of other women had named him on social media.
Dismissing all the allegations, the former editor of The Telegraph, Deccan Chronicle and The Asian Age newspapers, had said that these were “malicious, fabricated and salacious” intended to harm his reputation, and had filed a defamation case against Ramani which is under trial now.
Tarun Tejpal, the former founder-editor of Tehelka, was accused by a colleague of sexually assaulting her in an elevator of a five-star hotel during the magazine’s THiNK 2013 festival in Goa.
Tejpal, who has been charged under rape sections, had admitted to “bad lapse of judgment” and an “awful misreading of the situation”, and was forced to quit the magazine.