New Delhi: A court here on Friday allowed environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused in a sexual harassment case, to visit offices of TERI except two establishments in one of which the complainant worked.
Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi allowed Pachauri's plea seeking permission to visit The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) premises, but barred him from visiting the organisation's head office in Lodhi Road in south Delhi and the Gurgaon office, where the victim was working.
Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail on March 21 but was directed not to enter the TERI offices till the investigation is complete and not to leave the country without the court's permission. The court while modifying its March 21 order said Pachauri cannot enter the two premises till the investigation is over in the case.
Pachauri, who was on leave from TERI, has requested a modification of an earlier court order and permission to resume work from the office premises. Delhi Police, opposing Pachauri's plea, told the court that the victim was working at the Gurgaon office and some of the witnesses who were working at the Lodi Colony office were yet to be examined.
Police said investigation was still on and he can influence witnesses. They added that neither Pachauri was cooperating in investigation nor giving proper reply to the questions put before him during his questioning. Pachauri's counsel and senior advocate Ramesh Gupta told the court that his client was called for interrogation four times.
He rebutted the submissions of police, and said the accused has right to remain silent as he cannot give answer to every question. More than four-five months have passed since his client visited his office and he cannot be restrained from entering TERI offices for an indefinite period to earn his livelihood.
After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February and proceeded on leave from TERI as its director-general. Citing several SMS texts, e-mails and WhatsApp messages as evidence, the woman accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her and filed a complaint in February. Pachauri has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, Pachauri welcomed Friday's court order and said he was delighted to rejoin his colleagues at TERI and resume his duties. "TERI has been my life's work and I remain deeply committed to its mission and its people. Together, we can make even greater contributions to human society through sustainable development based on justice and equity," he said in a statement.