Date: May 22, 2021
The IWPC stands in solidarity with the survivor and believes her version of events
The Indian Women’s Press Corp (IWPC) is disappointed with the acquittal of Tarun Tejpal, former editor of Tehelka, on charges of rape and sexual harassment by a Goa sessions court and stands in solidarity with the survivor.
It took great courage for the young woman journalist to come out against her editor and fight tirelessly for eight years in a system that is skewed in favour of men.
The case — and the way it proceeded — is a symptom of power imbalance where all too often women complainants don’t get a fair hearing.
It is never easy for women to speak out against sexual harassment at work places and that is a reflection of a skewed power structure, of a culture of sexualising women at work places and of the economic, professional disadvantage of reporting sexual harassment
The acquittal of Tarun Tejpal — a powerful editor who himself admitted to “the shameful lapse of judgement that led me to attempt a sexual liaison with you on two occasions on 7 November and 8 November 2013, despite your clear reluctance that you did not want such attention from me” — has made the fight for justice harder for women.
The IWPC stands fully behind the survivor and her version of events. It welcomes the Goa government’s decision to appeal against the session court’s judgment.
The IWPC calls on all media organisations to inculcate a work culture that doesn’t permit any form of sexual harassment, and when they are reported takes immediate, meaningful action to address them in a fair and just manner which brings some relief to the complainant.
Vineeta Pandey (President)
Suparna Sharma (General Secretary)