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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Environmentalist RK Pachauri to be tried in sexual assault case, says Delhi court

Delhi’s Saket Court orders framing of charges against Environmentalist RK Pachauri in a sexual harassment case.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2018 22:57 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RK Pachauri in his office at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.
RK Pachauri in his office at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

A Delhi court on Friday ordered framing of charges against Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), for allegedly outraging the modesty of a female colleague in February 2015.

Metropolitan magistrate Charu Gupta discharged him of four other sections – sections 354 (B) (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 354 (D) (stalking), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 341 (wrongful restraint) – stating that prima facie these cases had not been made out against him.

Police had Pachauri under seven sections out of which the court ordered framing of charges under sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“I order framing of charges under these sections. Let the charges formally be framed on October 20,” the judge said.

Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit said, “The court without even hearing any defense from the accused has discharged my client in four of the seven charges. Now it is for the prosecution to prove the allegations in accordance with law”.

“As far as my client is concerned, he has not violated any law which shall be proved during the trial,” he added.

Since Pachauri was not present in the court on Friday, the charges would be formally framed against him on October 20, which is the next date of hearing.

The police had filed a case against Pachuari in February 2015 on the complaint of a female colleague following which he was granted anticipatory bail by the Delhi high court in March 2015.

Later, he was granted regular bail by the trial court in July 2016.

The police had filed a 1,400-page chargesheet against him on March 1, 2016 under seven sections contending that there was “sufficient evidence” against him. A supplementary charge sheet was also filed in March 2017 after the police said it had retrieved several deleted e-mails and chats exchanged between the accused and the complainant.

A final report filed by the police had also claimed that the deleted WhatsApp chats, text messages, retrieved from the cell phones, computer hard disks and other devices, were “not fabricated”, allegations which Pachauri had denied.

In May 2015, the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Teri had found Pachauri guilty, a decision which was challenged before the Industrial Tribunal.