A three-member Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at TERI has found that RK Pachauri’s “repeated attempts” to foster a personal relationship with a young woman colleague caused her “harassment.” It further said that when the woman tried to resist, the accused “retaliated by taking away her work.”
Vindicating the young woman in the case, the ICC said that though the TERI director general had claimed that there was a “mutual camaraderie” between himself and the woman, the correspondence between them and his behavior told a different tale.
It has further recommended that TERI take disciplinary action against Pachauri, 74, for sexual harassment.
Several of Pachauri’s emails, as attached by the woman in her complaint to TERI, go “beyond the professional space,” found the ICC, that comprised three women.
Upon a detailed review of all messages exchanged between Pachauri and the woman, the ICC found that the accused’s behavior was “causing her discomfort and harassment.” The report adds that when the young woman expressed her discomfort at the unwanted attention, Pachauri “retaliated by taking away her work and assigning it to other colleagues.”
The ICC added that the complainant’s health was also adversely affected by the stress caused by the misconduct. The girl suffers from various symptoms that “are indicative of stress… she has been diagnosed with mental depression,” the report said.
The panel recommended that the complainant be paid monetary compensation for the recurring expenses required to treat her stress-related symptoms.
On February 13, a criminal case was registered against Pachauri for sexual harassment and criminal intimidation.