Two days after the Delhi Police filed a 1,400-page charge sheet against TERI’s executive vice-chairman RK Pachauri in connection with a sexual harassment case against a former woman colleague, the Delhi high court on Friday dismissed the woman’s plea to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to him.
The HC order is a temporary respite for Pachauri, who has denied the allegations and has fought to retain control over the organisation he founded in 1974.
Justice SP Garg dismissing the plea of 29-year-old woman said that trial court’s March 21, 2015 order, granting anticipatory bail to Pachauri, was “based upon fair appraisal of the material and all the relevant aspect of the matter have been considered minutely”.
“Petitioner’s (woman) counsel has failed to impress as far as what purpose custodial interrogation of Pachauri is required. While granting anticipatory bail to Pachauri, safeguarding the petitioner’s interest and that of the investigating agency, stringent conditions have already been imposed upon the accused,” the HC said.
The former research analyst had alleged in her plea that a “free and fair investigation” cannot be carried out if Pachauri was “allowed to roam around freely”.
Pachuari had said there was “nothing on record to suggest that free and fair probe is not possible in the present case”.
However, with the Delhi police’s chargesheet saying there is “sufficient evidence” against Pachauri that he sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the woman, the relief could be short-lived.
“There is sufficient evidence against accused person as he had committed offences under sections 354 of IPC by outraging her modesty, 354A by making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks, 354D as he followed her through emails and text messages...” the chargesheet said.
Police said the probe in the case was complete.
On February 13 last year, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri had stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Since then, another woman claiming to have been similarly harassed by the TERI chief have come forward, and one m