He graduated in economics from Panjab University in Chandigarh.
In November 2013, he stepped down as editor for six months after a female colleague accused him of sexual assault. He was arrested on 30 November 2013 and is currently on bail. He began his career in 1980s, with the The Indian Express and he moved to New Delhi to join a now defunct magazine called India 2000.
In 1984, he joined India Today magazine, then The Financial Express in 1994 and later helped found the rival publication, Outlook, where he worked for several years.
He left Outlook in March 2000, to start tehelka.com, an online independent news and views magazine which soon came to be known for its sting investigations, mainly for Operation West End. The website was relaunched as a national weekly newspaper, Tehelka in January 2007, it became a weekly magazine.
The Guardian included him in its list of "India"s elite" for being a "Pioneer of a brand of sting journalism which has transformed Indian media" in 2006. Sexual assault allegation
On 20 November 2013, Tehelka magazine informed its staff that Tejpal was stepping down as editor for six months, after a woman colleague alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by him.
This received intense public attention and media scrutiny especially because Tejpal and his magazine had previously been involved in highlighting the issue of sexual violence in India, including in a special issue on the topic in February of the year.
Police in the state of Goa, where the incident took place, have filed a First Information Report (FIR) which lists charges, including rape, against him. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him by the Goa Police. He was arrested by Goa police on 30 November 2013.
On 1 July 2014, Supreme Court granted him bail and asked him to submit his passport to the court.