New Delhi, Nov 22 IBNS | 2 years ago

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Friday said a legal process connected to the allegation of sexual assault of a young journalist against disgraced former Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal ahould be allowed to reach logical conclusion.

"The alleged incident is unfortunate. There is a legal process which is playing itself out. It should be allowed to reach logical conclusion. It is incumbent upon all concerned to cooperate with legal processes and procedure," Tewari said in a statement.

Tejpal, who on Friday said he will fully cooperate with the police in their investigation into the sexual assault of a young journalist in his organization by him, might be arrested with the FIR lodged against him by Goa Police charging him of rape, according to reports.

Even as Tehelka led by its Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury continued to defend Tarun Tejpal apparently by requesting all to wait for the outcome of an internal inquiry and hearing of both the versions of the victim and the accused instead of a trial by media, the law of the land also is closing in on the journalist who earned fame for investigative reporting and big time exposes by Tehelka, including one on the attitude of policemen to victims of sexual assaults.

Reports said under the new stringent laws, what Tejpal allegedly committed during the "Think Fest" in Goa organized by Tehelka is tantamount to rape. Media reports said he is seeking anticipatory bail in the case.

The Union Home Ministry has also sought a report from Goa Police in the case. Goa Police team is likely to reach his residence in New Delhi.

Tejpal earlier said: "I offer my fullest cooperation to the police and all other authorities, and look to presenting all the facts of this incident to it."

"I also urge the committee and the police to obtain, examine and release the CCTV footage so that the accurate version of events stands clearly revealed," he said.

Defending all allegations against him, Tejpal said: "There have been serious allegations cast on me in this last week, and unfortunately as sometimes happens in life, the complete truth and the need to do the honorable thing can come into conflict.

"In this case this anguish was accentuated by the fact that very many intimate people, professional and personal, were involved."

"For four days, as demanded by Shoma Chaudhury, the managing editor, and the recipient of the complaint, I have tried to do what was honorably demanded of me," he said in the statement.

"On Tuesday I issued an apology for the alleged misconduct, as desired by the journalist through Shoma Chaudhury.

"On Wednesday I stepped down from the editorship of Tehelka and removed myself from the office premises. On Thursday I learnt of the formation of the complaints committee," said Tejpal.

The Goa Police on Friday filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Tejpal for allegedly sexually assaulting the woman journalist.

The Goa Police said they are also going through the CCTV footage from the five-star hotel where Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted the woman inside an elevator.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly sought a report from the Goa Police on the case.

Earlier Shoma Chaudhury said there is no criminal case against Tejpal as the woman journalist has not filed an FIR against him.

"You cannot say it is a criminal case because the girl has not gone to the police. Let's not conclude it is a sexual assault or rape," Chaudhury was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN, even as women activists slammed her for defending a person whose act is criminal under the law.

The Goa Police said they will book Tejpal under rape charges if substantiated.

"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.

Tejpal, late Wednesday evening recused himself from his job for six months after the journalist complained to Chaudhury that he allegedly pulled her into a lift in the Goa resort and sexually assaulted her.

(Posted on 23-11-2013)