Court says enough material to proceed against Pachauri

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New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) A court here on Saturday took cognisance of a charge-sheet filed against environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused of sexually harassing a colleague, and said 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 The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) chief under sections 354 A (advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures), 354 B (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) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court, however, dropped charges under section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

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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.

The 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, TERI on February 12 asked him to proceed on indefinite leave.

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