RK Pachauri digs his heels in, ‘victim’ exits TERI

She said that despite the enquiry committee finding Pachauri guilty of misconduct, the organisation has "failed" to do the "bare minimum" to ensure that she is not impacted.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Updated: November 5, 2015 3:09 am
TERI, RK Pachauri, TERI Pachauri The complainant had registered a complaint against Pachauri for sexual harassment at the workplace and lodged an FIR with Delhi Police in February 2015. (Source: PTI photo)

More than three months after an exit plan was prepared for him in the wake of charges of sexual harassment, R K Pachauri continues to be at the helm of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and would remain so for at least two more months.

His designated successor, Ajay Mathur, currently director general of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, will not take over from Pachauri until next year, sources have told The Indian Express. According to sources, Pachauri is reluctant to let go of his powers and has asked he be made the chairman of TERI with executive powers.

Mathur has been asked by the government to continue in his position till the climate change conference in Paris, which runs from November 30 to December 11. He has been a key member of the Indian negotiating team in the past.

“The government has informed me that they cannot relieve me before CoP-21 (the official name of climate change conference). A decision on a relieving date will be taken after that,” Mathur told The Indian Express.

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Pachauri, who has served two terms as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was accused of sexual harassment by a junior colleague earlier this year, following which he proceeded on leave from TERI, an organisation he built and nurtured for almost three-and-a-half decades. In July this year, he returned after a court allowed him to do so on the condition that he would not visit the TERI headquarters, where he used to sit earlier.

Shortly thereafter, the governing council of TERI chose Mathur as the next director general to replace Pachauri. Mathur had sought a maximum of 90 days to take over because he had to serve a notice period in his current job. The 90-day period ended last week.

The statement of the governing council announcing its decision to appoint Mathur did not say anything about the future role of Pachauri, who continued to function as director general in the interim, amid protests from several employees. The woman, who accused Pachauri of sexual harassment, has also resigned from TERI, saying she had been treated in the “worst possible manner” by the organisation.

While Mathur’s requirement for the climate change conference is being given as the reason for the delay in the change of guard, several sources told The Indian Express that it was actually Pachauri’s reluctance to let go of his powers that had prevented Mathur from taking over.

Sources said that in recent meetings of the governing council in Bangalore, Pachauri asked to be made the chairman of TERI with executive powers. In its current form, the chairman’s office does not have executive powers.

TERI’s current chairman B V Sreekantan, who chaired the recent meetings of the governing council, refused to comment on the issue. Pachauri did not answer phone calls and was not available in office.

Sources said Pachauri, as an alternative, also proposed to create a post of vice-chairman with executive powers for himself. He is understood to be interested in retaining the charge of administration, human resources and finance.

But Mathur, who started his career with TERI in 1986, is learnt to have made it clear that he would not take up his new assignment if he does not get full executive powers. Mathur attended a function at TERI Tuesday and is learnt to have informally told some people that the earliest he can join is in the first week of January, sources said.

Meanwhile, the woman who accused Pachauri of sexual harassment, said in her resignation letter, “TERI failed to uphold my interests as an employee, let alone protecting them. The organisation has instead protected R K Pachauri and provided him full immunity, despite being held guilty of sexual harassment by your own inquiry committee.”

She added, “I refuse to be associated with an organisation such as yours for the way you have mistreated me, for not standing by the law, for not having respect for my capabilities, for doing nothing to ensure that my career is not harmed and instead harmed me mentally, professionally and economically.”

TERI issued a statement Wednesday, claiming it had, as an organisation, remained completely neutral in this affair, and said the woman’s allegations against it were “completely false and baseless”.

“The organisation has not favoured anyone, which is a fact apparent from documented records,” the statement said.

TERI pointed out that the woman had been on unpaid leave since May 26 this year and had given no indication when she wished to resume work. “In most organisations, there is a time limit on the extent to which leave without pay is allowed,” it said.

The woman, however, took strong objection to the fact that the TERI statement had revealed details, like her hometown and her qualifications, that could reveal her identity.

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First Published on: November 5, 2015 12:16 am
  1. R
    Rogue
    Feb 9, 2016 at 5:18 am
    B-but didn't he return those protesting intolerance? He should return it ASAP. We are an intolerant society. How can he take our awards.
    Reply
    1. R
      Rogue
      Feb 9, 2016 at 5:23 am
      Maybe she is from a poor family and put up with his dribbling and drooling Then it got too much. Hence complained.
      Reply
      1. R
        Rogue
        Feb 9, 2016 at 5:19 am
        Not at all. Let the charges be proven false. We'll polish the awards and give it. If charges are true then he must cover his face in dung.
        Reply
        1. R
          Rogue
          Feb 9, 2016 at 5:12 am
          The reasons given absent without informing and what not are just HR harment techniques. I'd advise the victims to go to labor commissioner and make a complaint. I don't know if she went only to cops or the women's anti harment wing. They have extra ordinary powers. I'd suggest that media informs all the govt. ministers not to give any project or funding to this organization.
          Reply
          1. R
            Rogue
            Feb 9, 2016 at 5:15 am
            The work they do - biom usage, chulha use, and drilling bore wells in Africa are such silly projects. I had chapters on those in school. What's so great about this useless organization? Ridiculous.
            Reply
            1. A
              Anjna
              Nov 5, 2015 at 5:52 am
              And I can say you are very poor quality. Shame on your parents not giving you human quality
              Reply
              1. J
                Joseph
                Nov 5, 2015 at 8:49 am
                Why are guys so spiteful? Jealous hypocrisy , the common trait among Indians?
                Reply
                1. P
                  Pooja Patel
                  Nov 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm
                  Oh really? What was she doing for two years? I heard that the woman was shifted to her old department in TERI and not to an unsuited department as the complainant claims. Facts need to be checked by media before reporting.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Rachna
                    Nov 6, 2015 at 4:32 am
                    This is misuse of laws and media space. Why can't our media report positive stories?
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Narendra Patwardhan
                      Nov 17, 2015 at 12:40 am
                      ॲवॉर्ड तो ऐसाही मीला था. लौटाने का इतना celebration????
                      Reply
                      1. D
                        Dharmendra
                        Nov 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm
                        IT IS VERY UNFORTUNATE, GOVERNMENT AND COURT IS NOT ACTING ON SUO MOTO BASIS. THIS IS REALLY HURTING THE PEOPLE, WHY SUCH FELLOWS ARE PROTECTED EVEN AFTER FOUND GUILTY. IN THIS SITUATION HOW ABOUT WOMAN SURVIVEL IN THIS COUNTRY. SOMEBODY SHOULD COME FORWARD TO GET THE JUSTICE. I LIKE TO BRING IT TO THE NOTICES OF MS/MR BRINDA KARATE / ARIVIND KEJERIWAL / SHABNA AZMI / ARUNTHATHI ROY including Media etc. FOR ANY CONSTRUCTIVE ACTIONS. LET THE TRUTH COME OUT AND GUILTY GET PUNISHED
                        Reply
                        1. D
                          Dev
                          Nov 5, 2015 at 7:27 am
                          What I hear is there was an internal conspiracy by Lina Srivastava who wanted to trap Pachauri and usurp powers.
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                          1. M
                            Maria Fernanda
                            Nov 5, 2015 at 4:07 am
                            From the internet, what I understand is - this lady provided a lot of evidence and the internal investigation team actually found and confirmed that this old man indeed hared her. Not sure why / how she was made to leave? This man apparently is a very high achiever, well travelled all over the world. Known for his professional achievements. Usually such guys will bring projects that need a lot of team work, dedication and commitment. Working closely with such individual could lead to workplace burnouts. Fighting against such big folks is not quite easy. For a minute - Let us leave out gender, physical/ mental harment part. It is common to see employees accusing their bosses of harments of various kinds, when they failed to meet expectations. It happens everywhere. This lady seems very young, less than half of the age of this guy. What needs to be examined is - what was the nature of work that was entrusted to her? what was her throughput against expectations. why she left her job? But again, she may be really poor performer; but nobody has any rights to har a woman.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Ashok Gupta
                              Nov 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm
                              The w system has got corrupt in one way or other. It is true that while in service you can not go against your bosses. You will be penalized either by way transfer or by putting you in a vacuum like situation.
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                BharatK
                                Nov 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm
                                This was Secular Elite Se*xual ult and ruining the life of an young woman. Secular rap*ists are above laws and what they did is Halal.
                                Reply
                                1. B
                                  BharatK
                                  Nov 4, 2015 at 7:07 pm
                                  This was Secular Elite Se*xual ult and ruining the life of an young woman. Secular rap*ists are above laws and what they did is Halal.
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Krishna
                                    Nov 4, 2015 at 3:34 pm
                                    Every single person you have mentioned is a Congi chamcha!
                                    Reply
                                    1. N
                                      Niladrinath Mohanty
                                      Nov 5, 2015 at 5:17 am
                                      I saw a picture of the victim on the tv yesterday. All I can say RK Pachauri has poor tatste.
                                      Reply
                                      1. P
                                        P R Reddy, New Delhi
                                        Nov 5, 2015 at 8:19 am
                                        My dear friend Dev: What is there to trap Pachauri. He already looked monumental fool by writing all those love messages to this girl through various e-mails and text messages. On my own I am not saying he is monumental fool. It is said by famous writer Shobha De in her article in Pune Mirror in Feb this year. If your want to read more about him, please read her article. You can google to get it. Leena (not Lina) just allowed ICC to do its work. So naturally ICC reported correct facts which didn't suit Pachauri's interests. He got angry with Leena and removed Leena from ED post as soon as court allowed him to come back as DG at TERI in July 2015 and he made her as Distinguished Fellow (DF) which normally retired people (60 ) would get. She must be in her mid 50s and doesn't deserve DF post so early in her life. Later in Aug / Sept, Pachauri gave promotions to all his well wishers and supporters at TERI and put a new ICC filled with all his supporters who would help him get a clean chit in future. Well at the end of the day those who know TERI affairs are not amused with these developments as Pachauri is "Laala" there and "TERI" is his Dukaan. In his Dukaan Laala is the boss. In addition, we have wonderful Indian justice system which protects people with deep pockets. Obviously Laala's have not only deep pockets but underground reserves!
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          P R Reddy, New Delhi
                                          Nov 4, 2015 at 11:30 pm
                                          Pachauri was enjoying life at TERI since mid 1980s romancing with many young female colleagues by employing all the techniques he mentioned in his e-mail / messages to this girl. Many females have fallen for him and benefited too from the relationship. Some could not, they left TERI. Finally he got caught in this case with solid evidences. Pity that in our country justice system is so porous in nature. Accusers can get away from punishment taking loops in the system. Had this case been reported in USA or Germany or France by now Pachauri would have been in jail. He is lucky that he was born in India and is getting all the immunities.
                                          Reply
                                          1. R
                                            radar
                                            Nov 5, 2015 at 8:15 am
                                            Pachuri is a known woman stalker .As the saying goes within Teri , he will have a go at anything that moves and is in a skirt . His research is as dodgy as his morality. He is tge N D Tiwari /Asa Ram of research .The man needs to be stripped of all his positions and made an example of.
                                            Reply
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