A Delhi Court Saturday framed molestation charges against former TERI chief R K Pachauri in an alleged sexual harassment case lodged against him by a former colleague. Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta put Pachauri on trial for offence punishable under Sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks) and 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Charges were framed after Pachauri, present in court, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Advocate Ashish Dixit, appearing for Pachauri, requested the court for a speedy trial and the court set the matter for further proceedings on January 4, 2019.
On February 13, 2015, police registered an FIR lodged by a former colleague of Pachauri, accusing him of sexual harassment and molestation. A year later, on March 1, police filed a chargesheet stating there was “sufficient evidence” that he had sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the complainant.
After registration of the FIR, two more women levelled allegations against him. Pachauri thereafter filed a civil suit against media houses, seeking a permanent injunction against any reporting on the statements made by the women.
In February 2017, Additional District Judge (ADJ) Jitendra Mishra passed an interim order on the civil suit stating that the media should publish a “subtitle” in “bold letters” while reporting the case so that the public was aware that no crime or offence against him has been proved. However, this year ADJ Sumit Dass overturned ADJ Mishra’s interim order saying it was “uncalled for” and, therefore, stood “vacated”.