Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Former UN climate change chief to face trial for sexual harassment of employees

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A court in Delhi has ruled that Rajendra Pachauri, the former chairman of a Nobel prize-winning UN panel on climate change, will stand trial on charges of stalking and sexual harassment of a former employee.

A 29-year-old former employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), based in the Indian capital, filed a police report against Pachauri last year. She said Pachauri, who led the organisation, had made inappropriate advances soon after she joined in 2013.

Earlier this year police filed 1,400 pages of evidence, including text messages and emails from Pachauri, and testimony from 23 witnesses, many of them Teri employees. Judge Shivani Chauhan said the evidence was sufficient to proceed with the trial.

“There are allegations against the accused that he made sexually coloured remarks upon the complainant on several occasions,” she said. “He touched the complainant inappropriately, despite a clear expression of disapproval from her side. He also sent inappropriate SMS and WhatsApp messages to the complainant.”

Pachauri, 75, will have to appear in court in person on 11 July to apply for bail. It is unlikely he will be imprisoned at this stage of the proceedings.

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