Former UN climate chief to stand trial: Indian court
New Delhi, May 14
A court in India’s capital ruled today that there was enough evidence in a stalking and sexual harassment case for former UN climate chief Rajendra Pachauri to stand trial.
Judge Shivani Chauhan announced that the next hearing in the case will be on July 11, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
Police filed charges against Pachauri earlier this year after a female colleague filed a complaint. Pachauri, 75, has been charged with sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation of the 29-year-old woman.
The judge said in her ruling that there was “sufficient material to proceed against” Pachauri, PTI reported. She said the allegations against him include making sexually explicit remarks, and inappropriate touching and texting.
Pachauri worked with the woman at The Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI, a New Delhi environmental think tank he had headed for more than three decades.
He has denied the allegations, but resigned last year from both the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and TERI after the woman’s allegations were made public.
The allegations caused public uproar in India, where women face cultural taboos against discussing issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace.
Apart from the police investigation, TERI’s internal complaints committee examined the evidence presented by the woman and questioned nearly 50 other employees, and concluded that the allegations of sexual harassment were valid.
Pachauri headed the four-decade-old think tank for 34 years, helping it emerge as a global centre for research in efficient utilisation of energy and sustainable use of natural resources. It has affiliate institutes in London and Washington.
Pachauri had chaired the UN climate panel — considered the world’s authority on climate science — since 2002, and had accepted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on its behalf.