Delhi court allows Pachauri to travel abroad

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused in a sexual harassment case, to visit China and Japan to attend a global meet on environmental issues.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan allowed Pachauri to travel to China and Japan from August 21 to September 1 and asked him to furnish two local sureties of Rs.2 lakh.

Pachauri’s counsel Ashish Dixit told the court that Pachauri was still the director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), adding that he had been invited for a strategic dialogue on climate change organised by International Ecosystem Management Partnership (IEMP) in China from August 22 to 28.

Thereafter, the counsel said, Pachauri was to meet Dr. Wakako Hironaka, former minister of environment, Japan, and other dignitaries in Japan on August 29.

Delhi Police and the complainant’s counsel opposed Pachauri’s plea to be allowed to go abroad.

However, allowing the plea, the court asked him to furnish an undertaking that he would make himself available to the investigating officer (IO) as per the requirement upon the service of a notice on him by the case IO.

The court directed him to file a copy of his travel ticket along with photocopies of all the pages of his passport, all the valid visas and itinerary in the court prior to his travel.

It also asked him to inform the court and the police after returning to India.

He will also inform the Indian High Commission in China and Japan about his visit through written communication after reaching there.

After a sexual harassment complaint was filed by a younger colleague, Pachauri stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February and proceeded on leave from TERI as its director general.

A decision was taken to remove Pachauri as head of the non-profit think tank TERI in July. The body’s governing council replaced him with Dr Ajay Mathur, currently head of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a government body.

On Wednesday, his counsel informed the court that Pachauri was still TERI director general and he has not been officially relieved of the obligations by the organisation.

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