Editors Guild of India suspends MJ Akbar and Tarun Tejpal over sexual harassment allegations
Former cabinet minister MJ Akbar and former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine Tarun Tejpal were suspended from the Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Wednesday over the allegations of sexual harassment.
In a statement, the Editors Guild of India said, “It had sought the views of its Executive Committee (EC) on what action should be taken against MJ Akbar, a dormant member at present and one of its past presidents, Tarun Tejpal and Gautam Adhikari in light of the charges of sexual misconduct levelled against them by several women journalists. Akbar’s lawyer‘s response to the Guild’s show-cause notice was also shared with the EC.
“A majority of the EC members suggested that the membership of Akbar should be suspended. There was also consensus that Tejpal be suspended too, until the conclusion of his trial and the Guild should write to Adhikari to seek his response,” the statement added.
“Office-bearers of the Guild discussed the EC’s comments and took the decision on the matter. It has 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. Using the same logic, the Office-bearers decided that Mr Tejpal too should be suspended from the Guild. For Adhikari, the Office-bearers decided that the Guild will write to him seeking a formal response to the charges against him,” the statement concluded.
With the #MeToo campaign making the headlines since last two months, the Editor’s Guild of India took a controversial step. In the recently updated list, the Guild included the names of alleged sexual accusers — former Union Minister MJ Akbar and Tarun Tejpal. Also, accused of sexual harassment, senior journalist Gautam Adhikari is on the list.