NEW DELHI (TIP): After 33 years of service, environmentalist R K Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment, was removed as the chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) on July 23.
Pachauri had recently succeeded in obtaining a court order that enabled him to resume work at the institute.
The governing council of Teri, which met in Bengaluru, removed Pachauri and appointed Ajay Mathur— an old Teri hand, currently the director-general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency — to head the organisation.
Pachauri’s removal comes six months after a young woman colleague accused him of sexual harassment. The septuagenarian, who is fighting a court battle in this regard, attended office only two days ago armed with an order from a Delhi court that allowed his entry to all Teri offices, except its headquarters in Lodhi Road and Gurgaon office.
This had upset the victim, who gave television interviews claiming that while Pachauri was welcomed back with garlands and flowers, she was shunted out of work. She also appealed to the governing council to take strong action against the tainted chief.
Last Friday, after getting a favourable court order, he had issued a statement saying he looked forward towards “ensuring a safe and secure workplace that is sensitive to human values and dignity, particularly in respect to gender and social class”.
Following the allegation from the 29-year-old woman, TERI had also formed an internal committee to probe the charges. The three-member committee, headed by a senior TERI official, whose husband used to work in the prime minister’s office, also found Pachauri guilty, sources said. The panel noted that when the woman resisted his advances, Pachauri retaliated by taking away her work.
The governing council had considered the possibility of taking action on the report by the internal complaints committee at TERI. “Action on this report has been stayed by the court. This judgment of May 29, 2015 also stated that the principles of natural justice have not been followed at all by the said committee, contrary to rules. The governing council of TERI respects all court proceedings and abides by its direction,” the institute said in a statement. In February, Pachauri resigned as the chairperson of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change in the wake of the allegations and police complaints, after serving the UN body for 13 years. As the IPCC chair, he accepted the Nobel Prize, which was awarded to the world climate body in 2007.