A court in New Delhi on Friday ordered framing of sexual harassment charges against noted environmentalist RK Pachauri, who has been accused of outraging the modesty of his colleague.
Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta fixed October 20 for formal framing of charges under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), Section 354A (advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, the court dropped charges under Section 354B (using criminal force against a woman), Section 354D (stalking) and Section 341 (wrongful restraint) levelled against the former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
The Delhi Police had booked him under the sections related to use of criminal force against a woman, stalking and others.
Pachauri was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague in 2015. He stepped down as Chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February 2015.
In February 2016, he proceeded on leave from TERI, where he was the Director General. During that time, he was also appointed as TERI’s Executive Vice Chairman which had caused much outrage. Pachauri’s decision at the time to go on leave came after a group of students refused to receive degrees from him.
Later, in April that year, he also stepped down from his post in TERI. The announcement came close on the heels of a media report which said the green body had decided to "sever" its association with Pachauri even though his employment contract with TERI expires in 2017. It said the Governing Council had also decided to pay all the dues for the remainder of his tenure and bring an immediate end to it.
Pachauri, however, maintained that his term as a member of The Energy and Resources Institute's (TERI) Governing Council ended on March 31, 2016 and he felt it was time "for me to move away and get engaged in other interests which I have harboured over the past few years for activities at the global level".
Pachauri has, however, denied the charges against him.
(With PTI inputs)