In a major setback to environmental activist and former director general of TERI RK Pachauri, a Delhi court today ordered framing of charges against him in a 2016 sexual harassment case, filed by his former colleague. The case was based on a complaint filed by a former research analyst of TERI, where Pachauri also worked, in February 2015.
The 29-year-old woman gave the police a cache of several thousands of electronic messages as evidence of the TERI official’s unbecoming conduct. He was also accused of kissing and touching her inappropriately. Throughout her tenure at TERI, the victim claimed she would be asked to enter Pachauri’s office on various pretexts after office hours. It got to a point where the victim said she took to avoiding meeting him (Pachauri).
Reacting to the court order, the complainant said it was a big leap towards the truth. “Chuffed to bits. This has not been easy. This is a big leap towards the truth. I am relieved and exhausted fighting RK Pachauri.” The complaint was followed by two more women alleging harassment by Pachauri.
In 2016, the Delhi Police charged Pachauri of outraging the modesty of a woman, sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation. The 500-page chargesheet which is now undergoing scrutiny before being filed, has concluded that Pachauri ‘misused his office’ as director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and said that there is ‘enough evidence to prosecute’ him.
According to the chargesheet, Pachauri made 34 calls to the complainant from his mobile phone between February 2014 and March 2015 and exchanged 6,000 SMSes and WhatsApp messages with the complainant between 2013 and February 2015.