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Tehelka case: Laws of no use if offenders decide on punishment, says Brinda Karat

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat on Friday condemned the sexual assault incident involving Tehelka magazine editor Tarun Tejpal, and asked that if offenders can decide punishments for themselves, then what is the use of having laws and courts in the country?



Gaya: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat on Friday condemned the sexual assault incident involving Tehelka magazine editor Tarun Tejpal, and asked that if offenders can decide punishments for themselves, then what is the use of having laws and courts in the country?

"The government must definitely investigate it. If offenders decide punishments for themselves, what is the use of law and courts in the country?" she asked.

Karat`s reaction came shortly after the Managing Editor of the Tehelka magazine, Shoma Chaudhury, told media persons here that an internal committee has been set up in the office to probe the sexual harassment charge against editor-in-chief Tarum Tejpal.

"I am setting up the committee. The committee will look into the matter. The truth is, the moment I got this complaint, I have acted absolutely driven by my need to act in the interest of the aggrieved journalist," said Chaudhury.

"I confronted Tarun angrily, but he told me a different version. It was also decided that Tarun would step down, as even if it was consensual, it was a transgression of his role," she added.

Chaudhury further revealed that the aggrieved woman journalist has received an unconditional apology from Tarun Tejpal and the organisation on Tuesday.

"She told me that she is satisfied and did not feel further need for vengeance. It is through the television I got to know that she is disappointed with my actions. Now, that she is disappointed with my response, I have set up a committee," Chaudhury said.

"I request that all respect her privacy and not to speculate on the matter. Tarun has a different version, and he will put it in front of the committee. I need an impartial committee to go by it," Chaudhury said.

"It is being set up, I assure that it will have impartial members. If my wishes can be played, it (the inquiry) will be (completed) by the next day.

Tejpal had on Wednesday, sent a letter to Chaudhary, saying that he was stepping aside from his job for six months, and was squarely to be blamed for the sexual misconduct incident.

He further said that it was a bad lapse of judgment on his part, and that he had completely misread the situation.

He said that he has apologised unconditionally to the concerned journalist, but felt that he needed to atone for his misconduct further.

Tejpal, who is a founder member of the Tehelka magazine, said that he was stepping aside as an act of penance.

From Zee News

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