A group of Teri University students and alumni wrote a letter to the acting vice-chancellor on Wednesday, condemning the appointment of RK Pachauri as executive vice-chairman of the green body, and has refused to accept their degrees at the convocation in March.
“Given the flow of events, it seems like Dr. Pachauri is using all his political clout, media influence and networks to stall the judicial process, intimidate witnesses, coerce TERI colleagues and employees to ‘persuade’ the complainant to withdraw her case and settle out of court as it would be ‘better for her since she has nothing more to gain’,” the letter said.
According to the group, Pachauri’s continuing presence at the top position is completely “antithetical to our convictions as alumni and graduates of TERI University”.
“We would like to make it explicitly clear that we are not in a position to accept our degrees from Dr. Pachauri at the upcoming convocation on March 7th, 2016,” the letter read.
Pachauri was appointed as executive vice-chairman of Teri on February 8 after Ajay Mathur took over the charge from him as director general of the green body.
The woman who has accused the former UN climate panel chief of sexual harassment had, through an open letter, said on Tuesday that the decision to elevate him as Teri’s executive vice-chairman made “her flesh crawl” and she vowed to continue her battle for justice.
In February last year, the 29-year-old woman had accused Pachauri of sexual harassment, following which he went on leave but joined work in July after a court quashed the internal committee report that found him guilty of misconduct.
He later quit as chairman of the inter-governmental panel on climate change, an international body of scientists that makes periodic assessment of climate change science.
The group, which has submitted the letter to Teri’s governing council, has also started an online petition to garner support for Pachauri’s removal from the institute.