An internal committee has found him guilty of sexual harassment of a junior researcher and the governing council at TERI issued a press note thanking him for his long service to the organization and announcing his replacement as director general. But it now emerges that R.K. Pachauri, the 75-year-old scientist who served at the helm of Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, is being promoted to the job of executive vice-chairman at the Delhi-based research institute.
The governing council has decided to give him a senior executive role despite the incoming director general voicing his apprehensions that Pachauri's presence would affect the "independent functioning" of the organization, The Economic Times reported.
A 29-year-old researcher, who had lodged the sexual harrassment case against Pachauri in February, quit TERI this week, saying she has been "treated in the worst possible manner" by the institute.
"Your organisation has treated me in the worst possible manner. TERI failed to uphold my interests as an employee, let alone protecting them," she wrote in her resignation letter to Dinesh Varma, director of TERI's human resources department. Varma, in return, dismissed the claim saying everything was done "according to the rulebook".
According to the report , Mathur has raised concerns on multiple occasions about the move to give Pachauri operational powers, a proposal that has apparently come from one of the governing council's foreign members.
Also Read: Complainant Quits TERI, Alleges Mistreatment
Mathur was asked on 5 October to connect telephonically with council members during their meeting in Bangalore, ET reported. He was allegedly asked if "he was comfortable with Pachauri being appointed as vice-chairman of the governing council". "If we add fuel to fire, TERI will get burnt down," Mathur reportedly said.
Mathur, a technocrat from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, under the Ministry of Power, said that even if the governing council decided to appoint Pachauri as executive vice-chairman, he was not informed of the decision.
"The primacy of the director-general should prevail to ensure independent and fair functioning of the organisation," he said.
The chemical engineer from Roorkee was appointed after Pachauri, who has been at the helm since 1982, stepped down. ET reported that Mathur, who started his career at TERI in the late 80s, "may have a rethink" about joining the organisation.
HuffPost India has reached out to TERI for a comment.
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