New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Noted environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, who faces charges of molestation and sexual harassment of a junior colleague at environmental think-tank TERI, was questioned by Delhi Police on Wednesday for the first time in the case.
A team of three officials, including an inspector who is the investigating officer of the case, arrived at Pachauri’s residence in Golf Links area of Lutyen’s Delhi in the afternoon and questioned him around two hours.
The 75-year-old environmentalist was asked more than 30 questions and his statement was recorded under section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“A team of three officers questioned Pachauri at his Golf Links residence between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. which was his pre-assigned time. His questioning will be continued further probably on Thursday or later,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Prem Nath told IANS.
He said that Pachauri was questioned over the allegations made upon him by the complainant.
A police officer privy to the findings of the investigating team said Pachauri was questioned about his first meeting with the complainant.
He was asked if the allegations made against him were true, and why the complainant had accused had him out of all the TERI employees if he was indeed innocent.
Pachauri was also asked about the messages and emails sent by him to the complainant’s mobile phone and email.
A 29-year-old research associate working in Pachauri’s office filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him at the Lodhi Colony Police station in south Delhi on February 13 after approaching The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on February 9.
Delhi Police later booked Pachauri on charges of molestation, stalking, sexual harassment and criminal intimidation as the complainant had claimed that she was harassed by him for nearly two years since she joined in September 2013.
She also alleged that Pachauri had engaged in “sexually-laden conversations” with her over email and SMS.
Pachauri was forced to step down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February and proceeded on leave from TERI after the sexual harassment complaint but he has denied the allegations.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)