TERI can’t give secure working environment to women: Ex-employee

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) The woman who lodged a sexual harassment case in February last year against environmentalist R.K. Pachauri said on Thursday that TERI can’t give a secure working environment to women employees and she felt better after leaving the organisation.

In an exclusive interview to IANS, the woman said she faced an extremely difficult situation as TERI gave her “zero support” and she was left to fend for herself.

“I feel better having resigned from TERI,” she said.

Days after Pachauri was promoted as executive vice chairman of TERI, another former woman employee of the organisation on Wednesday levelled similar charges against him.

In an open letter to the media, she said: “Ever since the FIR against Pachauri came to light, I have been stating that I have also been sexually harassed by Pachauri, but all the efforts to have my statement recorded have been obstructed by police.”

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The former TERI employee who filed a case against Pachauri in February 2015 said similar charges levelled against the environmentalist show that there was a pattern of misconduct at TERI.

“TERI can’t give secure working environment to women employees,” she said.

On students of TERI refusing to accept their degrees from Pachauri, she said: “Very heartening to see.”

“It’s not that anyone is pronouncing anyone guilty but the point that is being made is to take a stand. These students have but TERI did not,” the woman told IANS.

The former TERI employee also said she has good legal experts and was getting support from her family and friends.

Delhi Police on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it was likely to file a chargesheet within 15 days in the sexual harassment case against Pachauri.

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During a brief hearing on Thursday, the court was told by the complainant’s advocate that one TERI employee, who has now resigned, had filed a police complaint on January 12 saying senior officials of TERI were pressurising him to have the matter settled by the woman with Pachauri.

After the woman employee filed a sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri denied the charge but stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February last year and proceeded on leave from TERI where he was the director general.

Later, Pachauri was removed as TERI head in July and Ajay Mathur appointed in his place.

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.

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Pachauri has now been appointed executive vice chairman of the organisation despite the ongoing inquiry in the sexual harassment case.

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