A Delhi court on Saturday adjourned for May 21, the hearing of TERI Director General R K Pachauri’s plea seeking permission to enter his office after the complainant submitted that she has filed a plea before High Court for cancellation of his anticipatory bail.
Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi said judicial propriety demands that the matter be heard only after the Delhi High Court decides plea for cancellation of anticipatory bail of accused.
“In the course of proceedings it was informed by the counsel for complainant that a plea has already been filed for cancellation of anticipatory bail of the accused. The matter is listed for hearing before the High Court on May 20. As a matter of judicial propriety let the present application seeking modification of earlier order be listed on May 21,” the court said.
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During the hearing, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta appearing for Pachauri sought modification of earlier order of the court barring him from entering The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) premises till the investigation is over saying that in the past two months he has not been asked by the Investigating Officer to join the probe.
He said that major part of investigation is over and the complainant has recorded her statements and his electronic gadgets like laptop, cell phones are already with the police.
“Purpose of condition imposed by the court while granting him anticipatory bail was that he does not interfere with the investigation but it does not mean that his rights are violated,” he submitted.
On March 21, Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail by the court which had rejected the request of police for his custody in molestation case.
The court had granted him anticipatory bail by imposing several conditions on him including that he will join the probe as and when called, he will not enter TERI office premises and not intimidate or threaten the complainant and the witnesses of the case.
On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). Gupta said that the complainant has been transferred to TERI’s Gurgaon office on her request while Pachauri is seeking permission to join his office at Indian Habitat Centre as he can’t be on leave forever.
“I (Pachauri) can’t be on leave forever. I have proceeded on leave from TERI as I have to under go treatment. Police have been granted enough time but no charge sheet has been filed till now. It is prayed that I be allowed to join office and any other condition be imposed which the court deems fit,” Gupta submitted on behalf of Pachauri, who was also present in the court.
Public Prosecutor M Zafar Khan said that police probe is going on in the matter and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report on the electronic devices received from the accused is awaited.
Opposing the plea of Pachauri, Khan said that TERI officials are not cooperating with the police.
Advocate Prashant Mendirata, appearing for the complainant, said that Pachauri’s plea is not maintainable as he himself has volunteered for the said condition of not entering TERI office.
“If the accused has himself volunteered for the said condition as was mentioned in his plea for anticipatory bail plea then how come the other day he seeks removal of the condition, when there is no change in circumstances” Mendirata said.
He said that a plea has already been moved before the High Court challenging the anticipatory bail granted to Pachauri and is scheduled for hearing on May 20.
He requested the court to adjourn the matter as a matter of judicial propriety and list it after the High Court hears the plea of complainant.
“Allowing him to enter the office will make him sit with the witnesses, when the investigation is not complete,” he said, adding this is not the stage to allow him to enter office as the internal committee has also not submitted its report on the alleged sexual harassment of the woman employee.
Earlier, Pachauri had proceeded on leave from TERI after sexual harassment charges were levelled against him by a woman employee.
He had also stepped down from United Nation’s Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.