The third woman to accuse former TERI chief R K Pachauri of sexual harassment said the accusations made by the first two complainants are “right in line with her impression of his character”.
In an email to The Indian Express, the woman – a foreign national and Pachauri’s former secretary – said she decided to go public with her experience at TERI after Pachauri’s recent interview to The Guardian, in which he claimed “that his phone and computer were hacked”. “I wanted to support the women that spoke up against him. I hope that his ridiculous claims can be exposed for the lies they truly are,” said the woman.
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Post the interview, Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit had said “because of his (Pachauri’s) stature”, he had to provide access to his emails to the victim (the first woman). “Her job was of an executive assistant although she was hired at a different designation. Since he had six different email accounts and all of them were active, he had to give access to someone else,” said Dixit.
Pachauri argued that the victims had access to his accounts and could have been part of a conspiracy against him. The third complainant stated that during the time she worked as an assistant at TERI, she “can recall operating one account on his behalf”. However, this was eight years ago so his email settings might have changed, she said.
She added that the environmentalist did not send her any offensive materials digitally unlike the case of the other two complainants, but said “he would call her during non-work hours and ask her to come to his office”.On the delay in filing her complaint, she said, “Back in 2008, I was new at both TERI and in India and did not know where to turn. I did not know if it would have been taken seriously or if this was normal in India. Now I know otherwise, and would probably have acted differently.”