RK Pachauri: Timeline of the rise and fall of a scientist over sexual harassment allegations

With Pachauri's association with TERI having come to an end, here's a trajectory of Pachauri's rise and eventual fall

FP Staff April 22, 2016 20:22:44 IST
RK Pachauri: Timeline of the rise and fall of a scientist over sexual harassment allegations

RK Pachauri, former chief of The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), has been facing sexual harassment allegations since February 2015. In an interview with HuffPost on Thursday, Pachauri said that he felt the need to end his association with TERI and pursue other interests.

On Monday, the governing council at TERI decided to terminate the director-general’s employment contract which was valid till July 2017, thereby ending his three-decade long run at the climate think-tank. 

Pachauri issued a statement on Thursday saying that the decision to call time on his association with the organisation was voluntary. He added that the staff was TERI's "greatest treasure" and it will take the institute to much greater heights in the years ahead.

With Pachauri’s role in TERI having come to end, let’s take a look at the trajectory of his work at TERI, his commitment to climate change and his eventual fall following very controversial allegations of sexual harassment

18 April 2016:  The governing council of TERI in a meeting decided to terminate three-decade long association with its Director-General RK Pachauri.

31 March 2016: A third woman levels  sexual harassment allegations against Pachauri through an open letter.

27 March 2016: Pachauri, who had not spoken publicly about the case, finally broke his silence in an interview with The Observer.  He also alleged that the complainant was in cahoots with people who have a vendetta against him as he is a proponent of climate change. He also alleged that the complainant had access to his email accounts and she "actively flirted with me, encouraging a deeper relationship" even though he asserted they only shared "a cordial and mutual relationship".

4 March 2016:  The Delhi High Court dismisses a plea seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Pachauri.

3 March 2016: The Delhi Police’s chargesheet filed in a Delhi Court that there is "sufficient evidence" against RK Pachauri that he sexually harassed, stalked and threatened his former female colleague.

2 March 2016: A sessions court in New Delhi sets aside a magistrate court order asking TERI executive vice-chairman RK Pachauri to forfeit his surety bond and says one-day extension of Pachauri's Sharjah trip was "neither deliberate nor intentional".

1 March 2016:  Delhi Police files chargesheet against Pachauri. Following are the charges -  offences of stalking, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, criminal intimidation and word, sexual harassment under IPC.

22 February 2016: Sessions court stays the order forfeiting the surety of Rs four-lakh furnished by Pachauri, for overstaying abroad.

20 February 2016: After Pachauri overstays in Sharjah and ‘deliberately’ violating travel conditions imposed on him, a Delhi Court forfeits his surety bond.

15 February 2016: A Delhi Court grants him permission to travel to Sharjah to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

13 February 2016: TERI alumni condemn governing council’s decision to allow him paid leave amidst their demand to remove Pachauri from office or suspension.

12 February 2016: Ashok Chawla, former competition commission chief, is appointed as new chairman of TERI.

11 February 2016: After a group of students refuse to accept degrees from him, Pachauri goes on leave amid outrage over Pachauri’s appointment as executive V-C.

10 February 2016: Ex-employees of TERI criticise appointment of Pachauri as executive V-C and demand that his promotion be deferred till the time the sexual harassment case is pending against him.

8 February 2016: TERI appoints Pachauri as executive vice chairman of the think-tank.

13 January 2016: Delhi HC reserves verdict on woman’s plea seek cancellation of anticipatory bail  granted to Pachauri.

21 November 2015: After the woman resigns, Pachauri is allowed to enter TERI headquarters as well as TERI’s Gurgaon office following an order by Delhi Court.

28 October 2015: The Delhi High Court  declines the woman’s  plea for early hearing of the matter, saying there was no urgency and it will be heard on the date already fixed.

28 September 2015: Woman seeks immediate removal of TERI from office, files a fresh application in Delhi HC.

17 September 2015: Ranjana Saikia, the head of TERI's Internal Complaints Committee who headed the 3-member panel which found its former Director General RK Pachauri guilty of sexual harassment of a junior colleague resigns. However, she gives no reason for her resignation.

8 September 2015: The woman who alleged sexual harassment files a fresh plea with Delhi HC alleging that no action is being taken by TERI on internal panel’s findings.

12 August 2015: The 29-year-old researcher writes to Prime Minister Modi seeking his intervention in the case, stating that she fears Pachauri’s influence may impede a fair trail in the case.

23 July 2015: The governing council of TERI asks Pachauri to step down from his post as the Director-General.

17 July 2015: Delhi Court lets Pachauri enter his office premises barring a head office in Delhi and a branch office in Gurgaon.

16 July 2015: Delhi police seeks cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Pachauri citing that he was “influencing witnesses” and “hampering investigation”.

12 July 2015: Pachauri is taken in for the fourth round of questioning by the Delhi Police.

27 June 2015: Pachauri’s plea to travel to the US to attend last rites of his brother-in-law is allowed by a Delhi Court.

24 June 2015: Police take Pachauri in for questioning in the case.

21 May 2015: Pachauri’s plea to enter his office fails to get an order from a Delhi Court.

20 May 2015: Delhi HC refuses to immediately cancel anticipatory bail granted to Pachauri.

19 May 2015: Delhi HC asks Pachauri to respond to the woman’s plea seeking cancellation of his anticipatory bail granted to him.

RK Pachauri Timeline of the rise and fall of a scientist over sexual harassment allegations

RK Pachauri. Getty Images


23 April 2015: Pachauri withdraws plea after HC denies permission to let him travel abroad.

22 April 2015: Pachauri moves High Court requesting to travel to Greece.

20 April 2015: Delhi Court rejects Pachauri’s request on grounds that the complainant had questioned its maintainability.

17 April 2015: Pachauri asks a Delhi Court to allow him to travel abroad for a global water summit in Greece between 26 and 29 April.

21 March 2015: Delhi High Court rejects Delhi Police’s request to take him into custody and grants him anticipatory bail.

28 February 2015: Pachauri steps down from the PM’s council on climate change.

26 February 2015: The Delhi High Court denies Pachauri’s entry into TERI office premises while granting him further interim protection from arrest till 27 March.

25 February 2015: Activists and lawyers demand that Pachauri step down as Director-General of TERI.

24 February 2015: Pachauri resigns as the chairman of the Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

23 February 2015: Pachauri’s interim protection gets extended till 26 February by the Delhi High Court’s order. Simultaneously, Harvard University withdraws their invitation to RK Pachauri to speak at the India Conference after news of FIR filed against him becomes public.

22 February 2015: A former TERI employee alleges that she was sexually harassed when she worked with him 10 years ago.

19 February 2015: The Delhi High Court says he will be granted interim protection from arrest till 23 February, meanwhile asking him to move trial court.

17 February 2015: Pachauri alleges that his computer was hacked and files a complaint with the police.

13 February 2015: A 29-year-old woman who worked as a research analyst at TERI lodges a complaint against Pachauri for alleged offence of criminal intimidation, sexual harassment. An FIR is lodged subsequently. The 33 page complaint listed numerous  instances of harassment which included WhatsApp messages, emails and instances of physical advances.

2007: The Geneva-based IPCC, an organisation that assesses climate threats periodically, received the Nobel Peace Prize. Pachauri received the Prize on the organisation’s behalf. In its press release, the Nobel Prize committee had said that the prize was meant to be shared in equal parts by Pachauri and Al Gore.

2002: Pachauri was appointed the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations panel established to study climate change in various regions of the country.

2001: Pachauri is appointed as a Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.

1982: Having served as a professor at various  universities before TERI, Pachauri joined the climate think-tank in 1982 as the Director.

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