A day after a second victim alleged that RK Pachauri had sexually harassed her in 2003, the new executive vice chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute has gone on leave. This is not the first time that Pachauri has resorted to this plan.
Pachauri had taken the same route in February 2015, days after the first complainant, a 29-year-old research assistant, filed an FIR in Delhi, alleging that Pachauri had sexually harassed her while she was employed at TERI. Her allegations compelled Pachauri to step down from the IPCC but not from his post of director general at TERI; he simply went on leave. It was only in July 2015 that he finally resigned from TERI.
On Monday, TERI announced that Pachauri had been appointed as the executive vice chairman, a post higher than his previous position of director general. Two days later, a second complainant came forward, alleging that Pachauri had sexually harassed her in 2003 when she was working at TERI. Angry students and alumni of TERI institute protested against Pachauri and refused to let him hand them their certificates at the upcoming convocation ceremony. What did Pachauri do? Again, he went on leave.
With the backlash against his promotion also growing, it remains to be seen whether Pachauri will also repeat his July 2015 act and resign from the organisation.
With inputs from agencies