Climate Change Supremo Guilty of Harassment

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Former IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has been found guilty of sexual harassment by an internal committee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), of which Pachauri was also director general until February of this year.

According to the Deccan Chronicle, the three-member Internal Complaints Committee has found that Pachauri repeatedly attempted to form a close personal relationship with a 29 year old researcher at the institute, to a level which constituted harassment. It also noted that when she refused his advances, Pachauri retaliated by “taking her away from work”.

The Committee deemed his actions to amount to misconduct, and have recommended a compensatory payment be made to the researcher. It also called on TERI to initiate disciplinary action against him, the Economic Times of India has reported, although it is not yet clear what form that action might take.

The allegations came to light earlier this year when the unnamed researcher handed evidence including thousands of emails, text messages, and WhatsApp messages over to police.

Last week, the Delhi High Court refused to immediately overturn Pachauri’s anticipatory bail, granted to Pachauri in February. Instead they will rule on whether it will be revoked on the 16th July, after the council for Pachauri sought more time to respond to the application for bail to be removed made by the 29 year old researcher at the heart of the case.

She argued that a “free and fair investigation” cannot take place while Pachauri is “allowed to roam around freely”, as he is interfering in the investigation process. Her council argued before the court that Pachauri is “dictating what needs to be said to witnesses”, and that there is “overwhelming evidence” that he is breaching his bail conditions.

TERI’s complaints panel made similar findings, stating that they “felt certain actions of Pachauri during the inquiry process were hostile and amounted to intimidation.”