Goa, 21st May 2021: The government of Goa on Friday announced that it would move the Bombay High Court against the acquittal of Tarun Tejpal in the 2013 sexual harassment case. A Goa sessions court on Friday acquitted the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka, who was accused of sexually harassing a former female colleague inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013, during the THiNK 13 festival, organised by the newsmagazine.

Earlier, the court was scheduled to deliver the verdict on April 27 but the judgment was adjourned till May 12. On 12 May, the decision was again deferred for 19 May, and then later postponed to 21 May. The Goa Police registered an FIR against Tejpal in November 2013 after which he was arrested. The accused has been out on bail since May 2014. In this case, the crime branch of Goa Police filed a charge sheet against him.

The accused had earlier filed a petition in the Bombay High Court pleading that the court stops the proceedings of the charges in the case, but he was not successful in it.

Tejpal’s lawyer Suhas Velip while talking to the media said, “This is a victory for all. Especially for Adv. Rajeev Gomes, his colleagues, and Tarun Tejpal. The hard work and efforts of my senior Rajiv Gomes are the reason why this win is so special. Tejpal has been acquitted from all sections.” Tejpal’s previous attorney, Rajiv Gomes succumbed to COVID-19 last week.

The former journalist was charged with section 376 (punishment for rape), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (criminal assault with intent to strip a woman), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 342 (wrongful imprisonment) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Tejpal in a brief statement after his acquittal said, “In November 2013, I was falsely accused of sexual harassment by a colleague. Today, in Goa, the hon’ble lower court of Additional Sessions Judge, Kshama Joshi has respectfully exempted me. In times where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank her for standing up for the truth.”

Tejpal continued, “As a family, we owe Rajiv Gomes a deep and abiding debt. We mourn his demise along with his wife Cheryl and his son, Shaun. No client can expect to have a better advocate than Rajiv.”