The Prime Minister’s Office is likely take a call soon on the future of RK Pachauri in the prime minister’s council on climate change following the registration of a sexual harassment case against him.
Pachauri, director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), was re-nominated to the council by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year and he participated in its first meeting in January this year. He had been member of the council since its inception in 2007 by former PM Manmohan Singh.
“We expect Pachauri to resign on his own after he stepped down from IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and went on leave from Teri,” a senior government official told Hindustan Times. “If he fails to resign on his own, I think the PMO will remove him”.
Two environment ministry officials told HT they were waiting for a direction from the PMO as the members of the council were nominated by the PM. Informally, the ministry has expressed a desire that Pachauri should step aside from the panel till a court of law takes a decision on the charges against him.
Former solicitor general of India Indira Jaisingh said the government should sack him to ensure impartial probe.
The engineer-turned-environmentalist, 74, has not resigned from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation with whom he had been associated since 2009 as member of a high level panel on peace and culture. The UNESCO office in Delhi refused to comment, saying a decision would be taken at the body’s headquarters in France.