A former researcher with The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) has filed a police complaint alleging that some of his seniors had pressured him to persuade a 29-year-old woman to settle out of court her sexual harassment case against RK Pachauri, the institute’s executive vice-chairman.
Some others before him had also allegedly approached the woman with the offer under duress but he was the first to lodge a complaint with Delhi Police against senior Teri executives for “coaxing and cajoling” him to convince her for an out-of-court settlement.
Teri did not respond when Hindustan Times asked if the man’s allegations were true while a senior executive of the energy and environment think-tank said they were instructed not to speak to media on the case.
Another senior executive, who handles Teri’s day-to-day affairs, said she was not aware of the latest police complaint.
The woman’s former colleague filed his complaint with Delhi Police on January 12 but the case made little progress because statements of people accused by him were yet to be recorded.
As far as the fresh complaint is concerned, sources said Pachauri has not been approached yet, although the man gave a detailed account of how his seniors allegedly forced him to approach her.
DCP (South) Prem Nath was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.
The alleged victim in the Pachauri case filed her suit in February 2015, saying she was being harassed by him since September 2013.
The Teri researcher alleged that his seniors asked him in July 2015 in a “hush-hush manner” to approach the woman with the offer, soon after she filed a case against Pachauri, the former chief of the high-profile Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The former researcher alleged that he resigned from Teri because his seniors compelled him to approach the woman. His complaint, many believe, could prove handy as vital evidence against Pachauri, who is now on bail, in the sexual harassment case.
The woman said many people had tried to convince her for a settlement.
“Some senior officers have been contacting my colleagues, urging them to ask me to withdraw the case. A friend of mine was contacted around October-November by her immediate senior, asking her to talk to me and settle the matter amicably. I am not going to do anything of that sort,” she said.
The woman resigned from Teri in October after she was transferred to another department where her reporting manager was allegedly taking a keen interest in the case.
“The new bosses were actively calling a meeting of my friends and discussing the case. They would ask my friends what I was up to and how I should deal with the case. They were contacting different employees in the organisation. Some were even told that the accused is ready to apologise and things like that,” she said.