A local court on Monday granted TERI head RK Pachauri three days interim protection while slotting February 26 to hear his application for anticipatory bail in a sexual harassment case filed by a woman employee.
Pachauri files his plea before additional sessions judge Raj Kumar Tripathi on the day Delhi high court’s February 19 stay on his arrest expired.
After issuing notice to the case’s investigating officer, the court fixed February 26 to hear arguments on the application. It further directed that “accused (Pachauri) be not arrested till then.”
Pachauri’s counsel, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra sought anticipatory bail for his client on medical grounds, and also on the merits of the case.
The Nobel Laureate, who is in his late 70s, is a heart patient and also had a urinary tract infection, the senior advocate told the court.
The complainant’s advocate Prashant Mendiratta objected and said that the allegations against Pachauri were “serious” and included “groping and physical assault” on his client.
He added that the accused could influence proceedings as he headed the organisation where the complainant worked.
On February 13, a woman employee at TERI came forward and accused Pachauri of making unwanted sexual overtures towards her; sending her lewd texts; and also stalking her. In his defence, the 76-year-old geologist claimed his computer and cell-phone had been hacked. If convicted, he could face three years in prison and a substantial fine.