Exclusive: Pachauri Harassment Survivor Shares Her Ordeal
RK Pachauri (Photo: PTI)
  • He forcibly grabbed me, kissed me and touched me inappropriately 
  • My health suffered, I tried everything to shake him off
  • This has dented my career forever
  • The Governing Council in TERI didn’t even acknowledge my complaint
  • RK Pachauri was given a pleasant send-off, it was not a sacking

Accused of sexual harassment by a woman employee, RK Pachauri was asked to step down from the position of Director General of The Energy Research Institute of India (TERI) on Thursday.

The 29-year-old research analyst from TERI in an exclusive interview to The Quint insists that what Pachauri has got is ‘a pleasant send-off, not a dismissal’. The sexual harassment complaint and the findings of the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) find no mention in the statement released by the TERI board.

The 29-year-old Research Analyst claims that Pachauri’s inappropriate advances began shortly after she commenced working with TERI in September 2013. There were physical advances at work and constant messaging with poetry.

On many occasions, against my wishes and despite knowing that I am totally against any such behaviour/act, Dr. Pachauri has grabbed my body by hugging me, holding my hands, forcibly kissing me and touching my body inappropriately.

It was only in February 2015 that she finally broke her silence filing a complaint with the ICC.

A 33 page long complaint consisting of several e-mails, text messages and WhatsApp messages was then submitted to the Delhi Police and an FIR was registered on the 18 February, 2015.

My patience simply gave up. I had enough. My health suffered. I tried everything to shirk off such behaviour but nothing worked. I had to take action. I knew what I was up against. I knew very well it will not be easy. My organisation refused to cooperate with Delhi Police in the investigations. But I am grateful the best names in the legal fraternity are supporting me.

She also believes that Pachuari’s removal means nothing to her because it cannot undo the damage to her career.

This has dented my career. The time that I should have been working is the time I have spent sitting at home not being allowed to return to the work that I was doing. Post the filing of my complaint, for 5 months I couldn’t work. If my organisation had been supportive, it could have saved me a lot of damage.

The victim then goes on to elaborate how TERI turned a deaf ear to the complaints against its top boss. The victim taking on 79 year old Pachauri found no support from the organisation.

I have had no support from the organisation. Shouldn’t they have helped me to get a legal counsel? Instead, they hired a counsel for themselves and I was left to fend for my self. I wrote a letter to the Governing Council for which I did not even receive an acknowledgement, leave alone a reply. There was zero sensitivity. I was even being forced to change divisions.

Talking about the removal of Pachauri, the victim believes that he got an honourable exit from TERI. The official statement released by TERI has no mention of the sexual harassment complaint or the finds of the ICC. She questions whether the send-off has anything to do with her complaint at all.

This seems to be a send-off not a removal. In the statement released by the TERI board, it nowhere mentions my complaint or the outcome and recommendation of the ICC report.

When asked if her stand has not been vindicated, she claims her battle is far from over. The ICC report has been ignored and the recommendations completely sidelined.

It would be justice when they take cognizance of the ICC report and the recommendations are implemented. I have a long battle ahead, the criminal case is pending, the trial will continue. There needs to be a desired outcome with regards to the recommendations of the ICC report as well. I still await the FSL report and the bail cancellation is also due in the High Court.’