Pachauri granted anticipatory bail

New Delhi: A court here on Saturday granted anticipatory bail to noted environmentalist R.K. Pachauri in a sexual harassment case and rejected the police plea for his custody.

Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi directed Pachauri to furnish a personal bond of Rs.50,000 and a surety of like amount as he rejected Delhi Police's plea seeking his custody and stay on the interim protection granted to him in the case.

The Delhi Police has requested the vacation of an interim stay on Pachauri's arrest, alleging that he was "influencing witnesses" and "hampering investigations".

The court observed that the investigating agency is trying to play with the personal liberty of accused by seeking custodial interrogation even without giving him opportunity for joining the investigation.

Admittedly, no notice for joining the investigation has been served upon accused till date, it noted, adding the police machinery is acting in violation of the apex court guidelines.

"Considering the aforesaid facts into account, nature of allegations levelled against accused and totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, this court finds the present one as a fit case to give anticipatory bail to accused," the court said, but asked Pachauri to join the investigation and not to threaten or intimidate the complainant and other witnesses.

The court has earlier directed him to neither visit the premises of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and not to leave the country without permission and on Saturday, maintained the same condition.

Pachauri, who had last month stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has denied the allegations against him but also proceeded on leave from TERI, where he was director general.

He is facing a complaint of alleged harassment by a woman research analyst who has also lodged a police case. Citing several texts, emails, and WhatsApp messages as evidence, the complainant accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her soon after she joined the TERI in September 2013.

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