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Delhi court directs police to hand over seized documents to ex-TERI chief R K Pachauri

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday directed the city police to hand over certain documents to former TERI chief R K Pachauri in a case of alleged sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar directed the investigating officer (IO) in the case to hand over mirror image/clone copies of the electronic devices, seized by police, to Pachauri.

The court took note of the submissions made by Pachauri's counsel that the accused was entitled to the complete chain of SMS and WhatsApp messages allegedly exchanged between the ex-TERI chief and the complainant.

File image of RK Pachauri. Reuters

File image of R K Pachauri. Reuters

Advocate Ashish Dixit, appearing for Pachauri, submitted that screen shots of the alleged messages were incomplete and manipulated by the complainant.

"I am of the view that revisionist is entitled to have the mirror image/clone copy of the items seized by the IO," the court said, directing the IO to hand over copies of electronic devices seized by him during the probe.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by Pachauri against an order by a magisterial court, dismissing his plea. Police, however, had opposed the appeal, saying that the prosecution had not relied upon the documents sought by the accused.

The court had on 20 October framed molestation charges against Pachauri, after he pleaded not guilty. On 14 September, the court had discharged him from section 354B (using criminal force against a woman), 354D (stalking) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC, saying that prima facie these sections were not made out against Pachauri.

On 13 February, 2015, an FIR was registered against Pachauri and he was granted anticipatory bail in the case on 21 March, 2015.

The former TERI chief had earlier secured an interim order from an additional district judge making it mandatory for media houses to publish or telecast the coverage of the case with a title that "in any court, the allegations have not been proved and they may not be correct".

This order had also said "when such information is published in any page of a magazine or report, then it should be in middle of the page in bold letters and it should be five times larger than the font in which the article is being published."

Over 1,400-page charge sheet was filed by the Delhi Police on 1 March, 2016, saying there was "sufficient evidence" against Pachauri that he had sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the complainant.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed in March 2017 after the police said it had retrieved several deleted e-mails and chats exchanged between the accused and the complainant.

The final report had said the deleted WhatsApp chats, text messages, retrieved from the cell phones, computer hard disks and other devices, were "not fabricated".

The charge sheet. which was filed a year after the former research analyst of TERI lodged the complaint, had said Pachauri had committed offences under various sections of IPC. Pachauri has denied all the allegations against him.


Updated Date: Nov 14, 2018 21:08 PM

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