Pachauri to stand trial for sexually harassing former Teri colleague

  • Soibam Rocky Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 14, 2016 17:44 IST
The court fixed July 11 as the date to supply a copy of the chargesheet to Pachauri. (HT file photo)

A Delhi court on Saturday said there was enough evidence against former UN climate panel chief RK Pachuari to stand trial for alleged sexual harassment and stalking of a former colleague.

If convicted, the 75-year-old environmentalist could be jailed for up to seven years. Pachauri, granted anticipatory bail by a local court in 2015, denies the charges.

“Considering that totality of the allegations and other material and documents placed on record, the court is satisfied that there is sufficient material to proceed against accused,” metropolitan magistrate Shivani Chauhan said, directing Pachauri to appear before it on July 11.

The 29-year-old unnamed woman worked under Pachauri at the The Energy Resource Institute (TERI), a New Delhi-based think tank he headed for more than 30 years before quitting this year.

He quit as chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a year ago.

In its charge sheet running up to 1,400 pages, Delhi police said Pachauri made sexually-coloured remarks to the complainant on several occasions and touched her “inappropriately”.

The charge sheet said he sent inappropriate SMSes and WhatsApp messages and e-mails to the woman.

The police have named around 23 witnesses, many of whom are present and former employees of TERI.

Since a case was registered against Pachauri in February last year, two more women have alleged to have been sexually harassed by him at TERI.

In February, a former employee of TERI accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her and other women. The woman later filed a criminal complaint.

In March, a foreign national also said she faced harassment from Pachauri while working as his secretary in 2008. The woman said she was 19 then.

Apart from the police investigation, TERI’s internal complaints committee also examined evidence presented by the woman and questioned nearly 50 other employees, and concluded that the allegations of sexual harassment were valid.

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