National

R.K. Pachauri removed as TERI head

RPT--New Delhi: Combo- File photo of Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) Ajay Mathur (R) who will replace RK Pachauri (L) as the TERI Director General. Pachauri was sacked as TERI chief on Thursday over allegation of sexual harassment by a woman employee. PTI Photo (PTI7_23_2015_000221A)   | Photo Credit: PTI

Climate scientist R.K. Pachauri was on Thursday removed as the Director-General of TERI by its governing council (GC).

At a meeting in Bengaluru, the top decision-making body named Ajay Mathur, currently the Director-General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency of the Central Government, as its new Director-General. He will take over after he is relieved from his current position.

Accused of sexual harassment by a junior colleague in February this year, Mr. Pachauri was found guilty of misconduct by the organisation’s Internal Complaints Committee in May.

According to the official statement, the current leadership of TERI was discussed at the GC meeting in Mumbai in September 2014. It said TERI had decided not to act on the ICC report as it had been stayed by an industrial tribunal on May 29 on the grounds that “the principles of natural justice have not been followed by the said Committee”.

Although the official statement by TERI states that “the interests of TERI and its talented staff are paramount,” the victim in the sexual harassment case has expressed grave concern about her career being jeopardized.

Not allowed to work: TERI victim

The victim told The Hindu: “I have not been allowed to return to work and have gone without pay for the last two months after the Internal Complaints Committee upheld my complaints of sexual harassment as legitimate.” She added that she was being compelled to shift to another department in TERI, not located at its India Habitat Centre headquarters.



The victim was responding to reports that R. K. Pachauri had been replaced as head of TERI by Ajay Mathur.



Prashant Mendiratta, lawyer of the complainant, said they would be moving the Delhi High Court against the July 17 ruling, allowing Mr. Pachauri to visit TERI’s premises. One of the members of the Internal Complaints Committee told The Hindu that by not allowing an opportunity for the ICC members and the victim to make a representation before them, the governing council had undermined the process of inquiry in cases of sexual harassment at the workplace.



According to the official statement, the current leadership of TERI was first discussed in detail by the council at its meeting held in Mumbai in September 2014.



It said TERI had decided not to act on the ICC report as it had been stayed by an industrial tribunal on May 29 on the grounds that “the principles of natural justice have not been followed by the said Committee.”



Eminent lawyer Vrinda Grover told The Hindu that after the sexual harassment case by Mr. Pachauri came out in February, many more women victims at TERI had approached her with complaints.



“The governing council has abdicated its responsibility in the matter and has sought to mask the removal of Pachauri as part of an ongoing process of appointing a new DG. This is misleading and undermines the gravity of the problem,” Ms. Grover said“What Thursday’s developments show is that even if leading lights of the corporate world, including women leaders, are in the council, if you are their friend, you will be shielded, no matter what your offence.”



TERI’s North America vice-president Annapurna Vancheswaran told The Hindu that the discussion on the ICC report is due on September 9 before the industrial tribunal. “Until then, the matter of sexual harassment is sub judice.”







Pachauri's sexual harassment case

>R.K. Pachauri steps down as IPCC chair

A spokesperson for Dr Pachauri issued a statement that he has informed the IPCC that he has resigned from his position.

>Activists demand Pachauri’s resignation from TERI

Social activists said the accused should set “an example of exemplary conduct” by immediately resigning from the post.

>Pachauri to "provide full cooperation in ongoing investigations"

The 75-year-old Pachauri said he was “committed to providing all assistance and cooperation to the authorities in their ongoing investigations."



This article has been edited to correct a factual error.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 4:34:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rk-pachauri-removed-as-teri-head/article7457312.ece

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