The Editors Guild of India on Wednesday, December 12 suspended the memberships of former Union minister M J Akbar and ex-Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal over allegations of sexual misconduct.
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 senior journalist Gautam Adhikari "in light of sexual misconduct allegations leveled against them", a statement said.
A majority of the EC members suggested that Akbar and Tejpal's memberships be suspended. Office-bearers of the Guild discussed the EC's comments and concurred with the view that Akbar and Tejpal should be suspended from the Guild, it said.
The Guild decided it would seek Adhikari's response before deciding on his membership.
In early October, a journalist named Priya Ramani called out MJ Akbar and accused him of inappropriate behaviour. After her social media post, several other women spoke up and accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment. With her tweet, Ramani shared a link to her 2017 article, wherein she accused him of behaving inappropriately.
Later on October 17, Akbar resigned from his post as MoS, MEA over allegations of sexual harassment against him. As per initial information, he was asked to quit by the Government amid massive pressure by women journalists for his ouster.
"Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity. I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs," MJ Akbar had written in his resignation letter.