Delhi HC seeks R.K. Pachauri's response on bail cancellation

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked TERI director general R.K. Pachauri to file his response on a plea by a woman research analyst who has accused him of sexual harassment to cancel the bail granted to him.

Justice S.P. Garg granted Pachauri four weeks time to respond and posted the matter for July 16.

During the hearing, senior advocates Ramesh Gupta and Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Pachauri, sought more time to file their response.

On Tuesday, the court issued notice to Pachauri and sought his response on the plea by Wednesday while admitting the woman's plea who asked court to cancel his bail.

Appearing for the research analyst, advocate Prashant Mendiratta told the court that Pachauri was "influencing" the witnesses in the case and a "free and fair investigation" cannot be carried out if Pachauri is allowed to roam free.

The woman alleged that there is "overwhelming evidence" that he misused the bail granted to him by the trial court on March 21.

"Even police has filed an application in the trial court alongwith some documents that Pachauri has violated various conditions imposed on him while he was given bail and that he also influenced witnesses.

"Police have even said that he was not cooperating with them," the advocate told the court.

Mendiratta contended that Pachauri is an "influential man" who has been the top boss of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for the last 34 years and was in active touch with its officials.

Pachauri is "dictating what needs to be said to the witnesses" in the case, the lawyer added.

The woman also opposed Pachauri seeking modification of a trial court order that bars him from entering the TERI premises.

Pachauri, who is facing charges of sexual harassment and currently is on leave from TERI has requested a modification of an earlier court order and permission to resume work from the office premises.

"Pachauri now sought modification of order by which he was granted anticipatory bail. He is an influential man. He should not be allowed to enter TERI premises till the investigation is going on," argued Mendiratta on Tuesday.

After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri had stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in February and proceeded on leave from TERI.

He has denied the allegations against him.

Citing several SMS texts, e-mails and WhatsApp messages as evidence, the woman accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her soon after she joined TERI in September 2013 and filed a complaint this February.

Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail on March 21 but was directed not to not enter the TERI office till the investigation is complete and not to leave the country without the court's permission.

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