A woman who accuses former UN climate panel chief RK Pachauri of sexual harassment said on Tuesday the decision to elevate him as Teri’s executive vice-chairman made “her flesh crawl” and vowed to continue her battle for justice.
Pachauri was elevated on Monday to a position created for him though judicial proceedings are pending against him for alleged sexual harassment of the 29-year-old when she was working at The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri).
“Shamelessness abounds! The news of (the) promotion of a man who stands booked on charges of sexual harassment at workplace, stalking and criminal intimidation by (the) country’s who’s who makes my flesh crawl,” the researcher wrote in an open letter.
Pachauri was forced to resign as chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a year ago after his colleague filed her complaint. He has denied the allegations and said his emails and mobile phone were hacked.
The researcher said allowing Pachauri to head Teri would “lead it into darkness” as he was facing four court cases.
“Such a qualification deems fit to lead an organisation. If that was not enough, the governing council is considering giving him operational powers. Reason being, it is required for foreign funding,” she added.
She also alleged that the governing council met twice within a month to address the “insecurities of RK Pachauri” but did not hold a single meeting over her complaint.
The woman said she will continue to fight the case in the court despite not receiving any support from the organisation.
Teri did not respond to her letter.
Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit said there was nothing wrong in the appointment and the complainant was trying to keep the controversy “alive” and delay the court proceedings.
In the letter, the woman said she had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August demanding the sacking of Pachauri as Teri’s director general.
(With agency inputs)