RK Pachauri sexual harassment case: Delhi HC asks trial court to record evidence from August

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked a trial court in New Delhi to commence recording of evidence in a Rs one crore defamation case against lawyer activist Vrinda Grover and another woman by former TERI chief RK Pachauri from 1 August.

File image of RK Pachauri. Reuters

File image of RK Pachauri. Reuters

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the trial court to conclude the cross-examination of Pachauri and other witnesses on or before 30 September on the petition filed by Grover opposing the district judge's 7 July order directing day-to-day hearing between 13 and 26 July.

"Let the trial court begin the cross-examination of plaintiff (Pachauri amd witnesses) on 1 August and conclude it on or before 30 September," the court said.

The high court had on 16 June set aside the trial court order fixing the recording of evidence in the case during the summer vacation and asked it to fix a fresh schedule.

Grover, in her fresh plea, said that on 7 July, the trial court heard the matter for rescheduling but Pachauri failed to file the list of evidences or number of witnesses.

She claimed that the rescheduled dates — 13 to 26 July — for recording of evidence was conveyed to her counsel on 10 July.

"It was brought to the notice of the trial court that on account of the failure of the plaintiff (Pachauri) to file the evidence by way of affidavits, it was no longer possible for the petitioner to be ready with any effective cross-examination of the plaintiff and his witnesses from 13 July," the court said.

Pachauri's counsel Ashish Dixit sought a fixed schedule for recording evidence in the matter while submitting that Grover had sought adjournment twice earlier.

In April 2016, few months after the charge sheet against him was filed in the alleged sexual harassment case lodged by an ex-colleague, Pachauri had slapped a civil suit against Grover and the other woman for allegedly making defamatory statements against him outside the court room to the media in connection with the case.

The other woman had also made similar accusations against him after filing of the original complaint.

Pachauri has sought damages of Rs 1 crore for "false and frivolous allegations" which, he argues, could prejudice his case.

He also made three media houses and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry parties to the suit filed before a Patiala house court and sought a permanent injunction against any reporting of statements of the two women.

On 26 February, Pachauri had secured an order from another city court making it mandatory that the media houses 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".

The interim order had further 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."

Updated Date: Jul 12, 2017 20:10 PM

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