Jan 14, 2016 News
New Delhi (The Asian Age) : An India court has allowed TERI Director, General R. K. Pachauri,
who is facing sexual harassment allegations from a former woman colleague, to travel later this week to the United States and Guyana to attend meetings.
Metropolitan Magistrate, Shivani Chauhan, allowed Pachauri’s plea seeking permission to attend conferences in California till January 16, and then in Guyana till January 21.
The court granted him permission with a direction that he will make himself available for investigation as required.
“The accused (Pachauri) is permitted to travel, as per his itinerary as stated above, subject to furnishing of one local surety of Rs four lakh to the satisfaction of this court and upon furnishing an undertaking that he will make himself available to the investigating officer as per her requirement upon service of notice on him by the IO,” the court said.
While seeking permission, Pachauri’s lawyer, Ashish Dixit, said his client has been fully cooperating with the probe and he would make himself available as and when required by the Investigating Officer (IO).
The police opposed his plea on the ground that Pachauri had failed to give satisfactory answers to their questions, but the IO affirmed that he had joined investigation.
In its order, the court noted that Pachauri has cooperated in the probe and complied with the conditions imposed on him when he was granted permission to travel on earlier occasions.
“There is nothing on record which shows that the accused has not cooperated in the investigation,” the court said.
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).
He had also stepped down from United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change after the case was lodged against him.
Pachauri has been allowed to travel abroad by the court on seven occasions, including the latest.
During the pendency of the trial, he has travelled to various countries to attend global meets and conferences on environmental issues, including USA, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Kuwait, Somalia, France and Saudi Arabia.
In Guyana, Pachauri is more known as the Chairman of the Board for the Iwokrama, being installed in November 26, 2012.
Iwokrama was established in 1996 and dedicated as a place for research “to develop, demonstrate, and make available to Guyana and the international community systems, methods and techniques for the sustainable management and utilisation of the multiple resources of the Tropical Forest and the conservation of biological diversity”.
The Iwokrama rainforest is located in the geographical heart of Guyana. It comprises 371,000 hectares of forest (1.6% of Guyana’s landmass and 2% of Guyana forests).
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