- Court has framed molestation charges against RK Pachauri
- Two women have accused him of sexual harassment
- He pleaded not guilty of the charge, wants speedy trial citing his age
A Delhi court on Saturday framed molestation charges against RK Pachauri, the world-known climate scientist and former Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), who was accused by a former colleague of sexual harassment.
Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta formally framed the charges against Mr Pachauri dealing with harassing a woman colleague in 2015 with intent to outrage her modesty, advances made in an unwelcome manner with explicit sexual overtures and for using words, gestures and acts intended to insult her modesty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The charges were framed after Mr Pachauri, who was present in the courtroom, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. "I am over 78 years old. I have been subjected to four years of vicious trial. Please have a speedy trial. Media is already conducting a trial of its own. Even today the victim released a statement today to the media," he told the court during the hearing.
The next hearing in the case will take place on January 4, when the complainant will record her statement and she will be cross examined by Mr Pachauri's lawyers.
On February 13, 2015, an FIR was filed against Mr Pachauri based on a complaint by a woman researcher who used to work directly under the veteran climate scientist. He was granted anticipatory bail in the case on March 21, 2015.
In February 2016, another woman came out in public and made similar allegations against Mr Pachauri. The woman claimed that Mr Pachauri made sexual advances at her more than 10 years ago and also condemned TERI for appointing Mr Pachauri as executive vice-chairman.
Over 1,400-page charge sheet was filed by the Delhi Police on March 1, 2016, saying there was "sufficient evidence" that prove Mr Pachauri had sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the complainant.
A supplementary charge sheet was filed in March 2017 after the police said it had retrieved several deleted e-mails and chats exchanged between the accused and the complainant.
The final report had said the deleted WhatsApp chats, text messages, retrieved from the cell phones, computer hard disks and other devices, were "not fabricated".
The charge sheet, which was filed a year after the former research analyst of TERI lodged the complaint, had said Pachauri had committed offences under various sections of IPC. Pachauri has denied all the allegations against him.