A court here on Saturday issued summons to environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused of sexually harassing a colleague, after taking cognisance of a charge-sheet against him and holding there is enough material to proceed against him under charges dealing with stalking, words, gestures or acts intended to insult a woman’s modesty.
Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan considered the charge-sheet and said that there is sufficient material to proceed against the former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) under the Indian Penal Code’s sections 354A (advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures), 354B (using criminal force against a woman), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 341 (wrongful restraint).
The court, however, dropped charges under section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
“There are several allegations against that he made sexually coloured remarks upon the complainant on several occasions. He touched the complainant inappropriately on several occasions, despite a clear indication of disinterest and opposition from her side. He also sent inappropriate SMSs, whatsapp messages and e-mails to the complainant,” the court said.
“Let the accused (Pachauri) be summoned for next date.”
The court fixed July 11 for further hearing. A set of copy of the charge-sheet will be supplied to Pachauri at the next hearing.
Police have cited around 23 prosecution witnesses and several text messages, e-mails and WhatsApp messages exchanged between the accused and victim as evidence to support its case.
Pachauri was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague in 2015. He stepped down as chairperson of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February last year and proceeded on leave from TERI, where he was the director general.
In November, the woman researcher who accused him of sexual harassment quit her job at TERI, alleging she was treated badly. TERI denied the charge.
On February 8, Pachauri was appointed executive vice chairman of the organisation. Following severe criticism, on February 12, he went on indefinite leave from the organisation.