Days after environmentalist R K Pachauri, accused by a former colleague of sexual harassment in February last year, was promoted as TERI executive vice-chairman, another former woman employee of the organisation on Wednesday levied similar charges against him.
“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,” the victim said in an open statement issued to media here.
“Pachauri, a serial sexual harasser, who should have been punished by now has actually been rewarded with a new and higher position! This is a mockery of the laws of our country and of the struggles of the complainant’s long and difficult struggles,” she added.
Claiming to have joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 2003 and worked there for over a year, the victim alleged that Pachauri would use the excuse of work assignments to repeatedly call her to his office room, even though there was no real work.
“Pachauri used to also call me on my personal mobile number once or twice a week during non-office hours and holidays to ask what I was doing… he would make personal inquiries about my availability and keep requesting me to join him for dinner or wine,” she said in her statement.
She also claimed that on another occasion he assaulted her when she was in his office room because Pachauri had asked her to see him.
“He completely against my wishes forcibly held and kissed me on my face just as I was leaving the room. I was shocked and very upset and left his office immediately,” she said.
The women also claimed that due to Pachauri’s misconduct and sexual advances, she started to look out for opportunities elsewhere and resigned.
“When Pachauri saw my resignation letter, he threatened that from the airport to the city I was going to, he had friends everywhere and that he would see how I would leave his employment,” she said in her written statement.
After the woman employee of TERI 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.
However, now Pachauri has been appointed executive vice-chairman of the organisation despite the ongoing inquiry in the sexual harassment case.