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Editor's Guild suspends memberships of MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal

MJ Akbar has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women.

Editor's Guild suspends memberships of MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal

New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India on Wednesday suspended the memberships of former Union minister M J Akbar and ex-Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The move comes weeks after the Guild put out an updated list of its members, which included the names of Akbar, Tejpal and senior journalist Gautam Adhikari, evoking calls from within the media body for their removal.

The Guild had sought the views of its Executive Committee (EC) on what action should be taken against Akbar, a dormant member at present and one of its past presidents, Tejpal and Adhikari over sexual misconduct allegations levelled against them, a statement said.

Akbar has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women over his tenure as a senior editor as part of the #MeToo movement, while Tejpal has been charged with rape and is currently out on bail.

A majority of the EC members suggested that Akbar and Tejpal's memberships be suspended, it said.

The Guild's office bearers discussed the EC's comments and concurred with the majority view that Akbar should be suspended from the Guild till such time that the court case he has filed is concluded.

Akbar had filed a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani over allegations she made against him.

He had resigned in October as the Minister of State for External Affairs in the wake of sexual harassment allegations levelled against him.

The Guild office-bearers decided that Tejpal too should be suspended from it. 

On Adhikari's membership, the Guild decided to seek his response before taking a decision. 

The Guild in October had asked Akbar to withdraw the criminal defamation case he filed against Ramani. 

It had also offered legal support to women journalists who have levelled the allegations against Akbar in case he did not withdraw the case against Ramani or files such cases against other women.