NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court issued notices to the Indian government on a petition accusing The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) of “brazenly supporting” director general RK Pachauri despite his being found guilty of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation by the organisation’s internal complaints committee (ICC).
Notices were also issued on Monday to TERI and Pachauri on the petition demanding immediate suspension/removal of Pachauri from the organisation. The petitioner, a 29-year-old research analyst, has alleged that TERI “failed to treat sexual harassment as an act of misconduct as required by law”.
Her counsel, senior lawyer Indira Jaising, argued TERI had failed in its duty to provide a safe work environment by permitting Pachauri to continue in his position as director general with power and authority over all employees, intimidating them into working against the interests of the petitioner.
Pachauri has previously denied the allegations against him.
The petitioner expressed concern that she will be removed at the behest of Pachauri. She has sought directions to TERI against such a move. The petitioner said “no unbiased and impartial decision of disciplinary action against” Pachauri can be taken as long as he continues to remain director general of TERI. The governing council had in July replaced Pachauri with Ajay Mathur, who is serving his notice period and is yet to take over at TERI.
The complainant has also challenged the jurisdiction of the industrial tribunal that had, in May, stayed the operation of the ICC report on Pachauri’s plea alleging violation of the principles of natural justice by the committee.
Jaising told ET that Delhi High Court had issued notices to TERI, Pachauri and the government of India.