News East West
MUMBAI: Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal, who has been chargedby Goa Police this week with raping a junior colleague in November, reportedly took the victim’s `no’ for a `yes’, according to the chargesheet filed in Panaji on Monday.
Shoma Chaudhury, who was the then managing editor of Tehekla when the incident happened on Nov 7-8 at Panaji in Goa, said this in her statement to the police, reports Indian Express.
In her statement which is part of the chargesheet against Tejpal, Shoma Chaudhury said that Tejpal told her after the incident that he had “misread the situation.”
Chaudhury said that the victim told her that Tejpal had behaved like a “classic male” and “thought that beneath her ‘no’ was a ‘yes’.” Tejpal felt encouraged because the victim’s refusals had been “very polite”.
The alleged rape incident happened in the lift of Hotel Bambolim on the nights of Nov 7-8 during Tehekla’s annual Thinkfest.
According to the chargesheet, Tejpal told Chaudhury that both he and the victim had consumed “several drinks” on November 7, but had no drinks on the second occasion. According to Shoma, the victim asked Tejpal to stop on both the occasions, but he did not listen to her.
Chaudhury told police that she had “no personal knowledge of any complaint from any of her colleagues in Goa” until the victim sent her an email on November 18.
She said she `was absolutely devastated” after getting the victim’s email on Nov 18 and immediately confronted Tejpal in Tehelka’s Delhi office that evening. During their meeting, Tejpal told her that he was ashamed of his lapse of judgment.
“Mr Tejpal told Shoma that on 7th November 2013 evening, when the said encounter happened, both he and the victim had had several drinks; that in this context, according to his account to Shoma, he said his sexual encounter with the victim on 7th November 2013 was consensual and very fleeting,” according to the chargesheet.
Folllowing her meeting with Tejpal, Shoma Chaudhury sent an email to the victim in Mumbai telling her that she had spoken to Tejpal and he felt that he had “misread the situation and was willing to apologise”.
In response, the victim told Shoma Cahudhury that she “had made it clear to Tejpal that she was not comfortable with what he had been doing to her. The victim repeated that she wanted ‘closure’ to the ‘nightmarish psychological and emotional fallout of this incident’.”
As per Chaudhury’s statement, Tejpal also emailed a formal apology to the victim on November 19, with a copy sent to her. He sent the victim yet another email, saying that their encounter was consensual. The victim forwarded Tejpal’s email to Shoma Chaudhury.