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TERI should have ousted or suspended Pachauri: Lawyer

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New Delhi, April 22 : A day after environmentalist R.K. Pachauri ‘stepped down’ from TERI’s governing council, lawyer Vrinda Grover on Friday said he should have been asked to step down by authorities or suspended long ago.

Pachauri, a former executive chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), on Thursday issued a statement that “it was time for me to move away and get engaged in other interests which I have harboured over the past few years for activities at the global level”.

The scientist should have been ousted from the organisation long time back when its Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) found him guilty, Grover, who is representing a former TERI employee in sexual harassment case against Pachauri, told.

“The person facing serious criminal case and against whom there are other serious allegations should have actually been asked to step down or be suspended long ago. The action has come far too late, over a year after the sexual harassment complaint was made,” Grover said.

She said that the sexual harassment case against him in the court will continue.

“What is important for the country’s women is the signal the organisations of high stature give. The signal that the law and time demands is we must take sexual harassment at workplaces very seriously and any compliant should be acted upon promptly,” she said.

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.

In November, the woman researcher who accused him of sexual harassment quit her job at TERI, alleging that she was treated badly.

On February 8 this year, Pachauri was appointed the executive vice chairman of the organisation. After severe criticism, TERI on February 12 asked him to proceed on indefinite leave.

“I’m afraid TERI has not set the best of examples… We do know he has been held guilty by the ICC and there is a charge sheet pending (against him). It is about time to make work culture in India in tune with protection of women’s rights and dignity,” the lawyer said.

Another woman complainant who levelled sexual harassment charges against Pachauri through an open letter in March spoke to Grover earlier in the day and expressed her anger over TERI’s alleged inaction against Pachauri.

“Her comment to me was why wasn’t the step taken a year ago. It would have given confidence to women both inside and outside TERI. The TERI governing council has not played a responsible role,” Grover said.

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Lalu Prasad ‘stable and recovering’, to undergo CT scan

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Lalu Prasad Yadav

Incarcerated RJD President Lalu Prasad will undergo a CT scan on Friday to ascertain his exact health condition even as a senior officer said he was “stable and recovering”.

An official at the Hotwar jail in Ranchi said that the former Bihar Chief Minister’s health had caused concern after he complained of uneasiness in breathing on Thursday evening. Subsequently, a team of doctors from Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences examined the RJD leader.

Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta also rushed to the RIMS and met with the doctors treating the veteran politician. Jharkhand Inspector General of Police (Jails) Birendra Bhushon said that Lalu Prasad’s health had deteriorated on Thursday but was now “recovering and stable”. Earlier, Lalu Prasad also underwent a Covid test and was found negative.

Lalu Prasad is suffering from kidney ailment, besides diabetes and high blood pressure. The RIMS doctors have diagnosed that his kidneys are damaged to the extent of 75 per cent. Doctors could go for a dialysis if his kidneys’ functioning deteriorated further.

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Fire at Delhi’s ITO building, no casualties

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A fire broke out at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO on Friday here. No injuries were reported, and the blaze has been brought under control, the Fire Department said.

The fire started from a meter board of the building. “We received a call around 8.30 a.m. about a fire in the meter board at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO. A total of 12 fire tenders were rushed to the site. The fire was on the second floor of the building,” said Atul Garg, Director Delhi Fire Service.

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Girl and father end life in UP

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A teenager battling depression for two years following her mother’s death ended her life, prompting even the father to take his life out of sheer hopelessness.

According to reports, Shalu, 18, first committed suicide by hanging herself because she could not come to terms with the death of her mother. Suraj, too followed suit, leaving behind two more daughters.

The incident took place in Nankari village in Khairabad area in Sitapur district on Wednesday. Circle Officer Piyush Kumar Singh said that Suraj, who worked as a tailor, lived there with his wife and three daughters. His wife had died two years ago and his daughter Shalu could not come to terms with the death of her mother.

“She went into depression and finally ended her life. Seeing this, Suraj also committed suicide by hanging form the same ceiling fan,” the police official said.

Both the bodies have been sent for the post-mortem. The police had filed a case and further investigations are underway.

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