New Delhi: A court on Monday granted bail to environmentalist RK Pachauri, who has been accused of sexually harassing a colleague, and allowed him to travel to Mexico and the US for over a month.
Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan took note of the fact that Mr Pachauri was granted permission to travel abroad on several earlier occasions and has complied with the direction of the court.
“In these circumstances the accused is permitted to travel as per his itinerary from July 12 to August 14,” the court said, asking Mr Pachauri to furnish surety of Rs. 2 lakh.
The court granted regular bail to Mr Pachauri in the harassment case after furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and a surety of like amount observing that the investigation in the case has been completed.
“He (Pachauri) was never arrested during the probe in the instant case which goes to show that his custody is not required for the purpose of investigation,” the court said.
“No fruitful purpose would be served by sending the accused person to jail.” Mr Pachauri, who was earlier granted anticipatory bail in the case, appeared before the court today in pursuance of summons issued against him on May 14.
Delhi Police has chargesheeted the former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) under the Indian Penal Code’s sections 354A (advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures), 354B (using criminal force against a woman), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 341 (wrongful restraint).
The court fixed October 6 for further hearing. A set of copy of the chargesheet was supplied to Mr Pachauri. Mr Pachauri was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague in 2015. He stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February last year and proceeded on leave from TERI, where he was the director general.
In November, the woman researcher who accused him of sexual harassment quit her job at TERI, alleging she was treated badly. TERI denied the charges.
On February 8, Mr Pachauri was appointed executive vice chairman of the organisation. Following severe criticism, on February 12, he went on indefinite leave from the organisation.