Ex-IPCC Chair Indicted for Sexual Harassment

Former IPCC Chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri has been indicted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for “misuse of his position and violation of the organisation’s policy on sexual harassment,” according to a May 22 report from the Economic Times of India.

Pachauri is employed by TERI, and until February of this year had been the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a position from which he voluntarily resigned after being accused of harassment by a 29-year-old research analyst.

The formal complaint was of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation, charges which have “been confirmed as a result of the detailed inquiry,” reports the paper.

The sources familiar with the developments have informed ET that members of ICC felt certain actions of Pachauri during the inquiry process were hostile and amounted to intimidation.

Further, the ICC has disclosed that its members had to cope with a hostile environment due to pressure and intimidation from individuals in TERI, said the sources cited earlier.

His accuser had earlier handed over to the Delhi police evidence “consisting of two mobile phones, a laptop,” and “handwritten notes and alleged gifts from Pachauri.”

The victim also volunteered videos and photos, as well as more than 6,000 SMS and Whatsapp text messages and emails.

Prior to his indictment, Pachauri had been free on bail, though his accuser had earlier petitioned the Delhi High Court to cancel the bail. According to a separate report in the Economic Times:

In her appeal filed in the High Court, the 29 year old research analyst has submitted that a “free and fair investigation” cannot be carried out if Pachauri is “allowed to roam around freely”. Filed through her counsel Prashant Mendiratta, the complainant has alleged that Pachauri is “dictating what needs to be said to the witnesses” in the case.

A criminal case on charges of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation was registered against Pachauri on February 18 by the Delhi Police. Her appeal states that Pachauri “is abusing his position and is hijacking the entire electronic evidence as well as the material witnesses.”

His accuser also sought to have Pachauri barred from entering TERI office premises, so that he could “not intimidate or threaten the complainant and the witnesses of the case.”

On 20 May, the Delhi High Court decided not to immediately cancel Pacharuri’s “anticipatory bail,” and noted that Pachauri was on leave from TERI.

Three days later, the Economic Times reported on the indictment and said the “research analyst who had leveled serious charges of sexual harassment against RK Pachauri has been been vindicated.”

TERI’s Internal Complaints Committee “felt certain actions of Pachauri during the inquiry process were hostile and amounted to intimidation.”

The Internal Complaints Committee is “said to have recommended payment of compensation to the complainant” and that TERI “should also initiate disciplinary action” against Pachauri. There is no word yet what these actions might be.


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