'Tarun Tejpal is not God who can decide own punishment': Women's Commission

'Tarun Tejpal is not God who can decide own punishment': Women's Commission

File photo: Tarun Tejpal

New Delhi: Tehelka is obliged to conduct an internal enquiry into handled allegations that its founder, Tarun Tejpal, sexually assaulted a young woman journalist in Goa, the National Commission for Women said today.

Shamina Shafiq from the committee has said  it has received "a third party" complaint about sexual harassment. So legally, Tehelka has to investigate the matter, and the National Commission for Women will oversee the committee and ensure that the woman who complained is "satisfied with the management's response."

Mr Tejpal's decision to "recuse" himself for six months as Editor-in-Chief as "atonement" - phrases he used in a letter - provoked outrage today among activists and online.

The young journalist told NDTV she was deeply disappointed by the organization's response to her complaint and by the suggestion that the matter has been resolved with a written apology sent by Mr Tejpal to her.

"Once the matter is brought to the National Commission for Women, we will investigate and ensure that the accused gets punishment, if found guilty. He will have to face a trial in the court. Tarun Tejpal is no God to decide his own course of punishment," said Mamata Sharma, who heads the  National Commission for Women. (Reactions after Tarun Tejpal steps down over allegations of sexual assault)

The journalist  first wrote a letter accusing Mr Tejpal of sexual assault to Tehelka's managing editor, Shoma Chaudhury. (Read: 'Deeply disappointed with Tehelka response')

Last night,  Ms Chaudhury described the issue as "an internal matter".

Today, she said, "I want to address the issues that have been raised. Please give me a chance to do it in a decent way. "

A source close to the complainant said that Mr Tejpal sexually assaulted the young woman over two days at an event organized by Tehelka in Goa. The high-profile conclave featured speakers like Amitabh Bachchan and Robert De Niro.

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