A Delhi court Friday ordered framing of molestation charges against former TERI chief R K Pachauri in connection with a case of alleged sexual harassment lodged against him by his former colleague.
Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta ordered framing of charges under sections 354 (outraging her modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remark) and section 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, the court discharged him of certain other sections and said that it will formally frame the charges on October 20.
Post the framing of charges, the complainant said she was relieved after hearing the order.
“Chuffed to bits. This has not been easy. This is a big big leap towards the truth. I am relieved, and exhausted fighting Pachauri,” she said.
Advocate Ashish Dixit, representing Pachauri, however, said there was no case against his client and he would fight the charges during the trial.
The case traces back to February 2015 when an FIR was lodged against the environmentalist on charges of outraging the modesty of a woman, following which more women raised similar allegations. He was granted anticipatory bail in the case on March 21.
In 2016, Pachauri had filed a civil suit against the media houses seeking restraint on reporting the issue. The TERI chief had made Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd, NDTV and India Today, as well as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, parties to this suit — seeking a permanent injunction against any reporting on the statements made by the women. The defamation suit also involved Rs. 1 crore suit against lawyer Vrinda Grover for allegedly making “false and frivolous allegations”.
In February this year, a civil court judge overturned an order by his predecessor, which stated that media must use disclaimers while covering the sexual harassment case against Pachauri, stating that previous order are “uncalled for” and, therefore, stand “vacated”.
Pachauri has denied all the allegations against him.
With PTI inputs