IPCC Chairman RK Pachauri, Probed In Sexual Harassment Case, Heads To Nairobi

21/02/2015 5:27 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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TO GO WITH STORY BY JEROME CARTILLIER A picture taken on June 6, 2011 shows the chairman of UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, during the opening of the Nansen conference on climate change and displacement in the 21st century in Oslo. AFP PHOTO - SCANPIX NORWAY / Stian Lysberg Solum (Photo credit should read Stian Lysberg Solum/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI: Days after the police launched an investigation in a sexual harassment case against Rajendra Pachauri, the United Nation's climate panel chief is headed to Nairobi in Kenya for a UN conference.

Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is reported to be speaking at an IPCC event on Monday, and is expected to attend a major meeting there for the rest of this week.

The lawyers for the 29-year-old complainant, who works in Pachauri's office at The Energy and Resources Institute, the research thinktank he heads as director general, have already approached the police asking them to restrain him from going abroad.

Speaking to HuffPost India, the complainant's counsel Prashant Mendiratta said they have submitted a written complaint to police on Friday evening, where they have given Pachauri's passport number and asked for it to be taken under police custody.

"We have a fear that he might not return from Nairobi. He has offices in different parts of the world," said Mendiratta to HuffPost India. "There were instances where he sent messages [to the complainant] from abroad also. The passport also is required as it needs to be investigated where Pachauri travelled outside the country and whether any messages were sent from there," he said.

Reuters reported that Pachauri's term as chairman will end this October when the IPCC elects a new chair. Pachauri, who was first elected as the panel’s chair in 2002, will not stand for a third term, according to the report.

Pachauri is a globally influential voice on climate change and received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of IPCC in 2007. he has been given interim protection from arrest by the Delhi High Court till Monday, while he files for anticipatory bail at a sessions court in Delhi.

Pachauri has also written to his colleagues at TERI, assuring them that the organisation was "much larger than any individual."

“I would like to convey to colleagues that there is undoubtedly a cloud which is causing problems for me personally, but I would like to assure colleagues that I am working on fighting this problem effectively,” Pachauri said in his mail, as reported in The Indian Express.

“I would also want to emphasise that TERI and what it stands for is much larger than any individual, and I have no doubt we will continue to march ahead and upwards… India is now showing its presence as a country of global influence, and TERI has to realise its responsibility in doing good for human society and the planet in the years ahead.”

The complainant has worked in Pachauri's office for the past year and a half, and registered a complaint against him last week, alleging that he had sexually harassed her since September 2013. A first information report (FIR) was registered in the Lodhi Colony police station in Delhi on Wednesday.

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