Pachauri’s elevation makes my ‘flesh crawl’, says complainant


Condemnation poured in from various quaters over the news of promotion of R K Pachauri as executive vice chairman of the  Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

The news of promotion of a man who stands booked on charges of sexual harassment at workplace, stalking and criminal intimidation by the country’s who’s who, makes my flesh crawl,” the complainant in the sexual harassment case against him wrote an open letter . TERI defended the move to promote Pachauri despite court proceedings against him.

In an open letter, the former employee at TERI slammed the green body’s governing council for creating the new post and appointing Pachauri with executive powers to run the body, despite “grave criminal charges” against him.

“Shamelessness abounds! The news of promotion of a man who stands booked on charges of sexual harassment at workplace, stalking and criminal intimidation by country’s who’s who makes my flesh crawl,” the complainant said.

Alleging that there were many attempts to force her to go for an out-of-court settlement, she said in the letter that she will take the case to the logical conclusion.

The letter said, “For a research organisation, priority was given to meetings held by Senior Directors and Area Convenors to corner my colleagues, to get them to have me agree on reconciliation — ‘Ask your lady friend to settle out of court. That would be best for her as she has nothing more left to achieve’.”

“Not a day passed without a message showing up on my mobile, warning me or bringing forth concerns. One told me: ‘We are hearing that ‘Victim’ has settled’.”

The complainant said she had heard that Pachauri was trying to get a foothold in TERI but she did not believe.

“It was around October 3, 2015 that I first heard of this from some current and former colleagues. I was sceptical in thinking that the organisation would not pour cheap, third rated oil to the existing smouldering fire. I was so wrong,” she said.

Holding Pachauri’s set of power people in the governing council responsible for his appointment, she said the “shameful” and “disgusting” decision of his appointment has let her down.

“It is absolutely shameful and disgusting and these are the people whom we called the leaders of corporate India,” she said.

When contacted, Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit said the scientist would not like to comment on the issue.

On Tuesday, Pachauri was appointed executive vice-chairman of TERI, a post created for him, though judicial proceedings were going on against the scientist for alleged sexual harassment. Pachauri is currently out on bail.

Among the members of TERI’s governing council are HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, former Chairman HSBC Naina Lal Kidwai and Chairman DSP BlackRock Investment Hemendra Kothari.

The woman said that she had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 3 last year, demanding the sacking of Pachauri from the post of TERI Director General.

“I have been running from pillar to post. I didn’t know what else to do. So, I wrote to Prime Minister, but I have not heard anything from his office on that yet,” she said.

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