Editors Guild suspends MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal

Editors Guild suspends MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal

MJ Akbar

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has decided to suspend the membership of journalist-turned-politician M J Akbar weeks after several women journalists accused him of sexually assaulting them in past.

It has also decided to suspend the membership of Tarun Tejpal, former editor of Tehelka, five years after he was booked in a case of sexual assault on a complaint from a woman colleague.

Another senior journalist Gautam Adhikari will be served a show cause notice by the Editors' body over the accusations of sexual harassment against him.

The Editors body decided to suspend the membership of both Akbar and Tejpal, and issue a show cause notice to Adhikari on the recommendation of its executive committee.

“The Editors Guild of India (EGI) 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 in light of the charges of sexual misconduct levelled against them by several women journalists,” the Editors body said in a statement on Wednesday.

The response of the Akbar’s lawyer 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 EGI said.

The 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 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 EGI added.

Akbar, who resigned as the Minister of State for External Affairs on October 17, has filed a defamation case against a woman journalist who accused him of sexual misconduct in past.