Former TERI Chief R.K. Pachauri Passes Away

The winner of many awards and honours for his work in sustainable energy solutions, Pachauri had been named by at least two women for alleged sexual harassment.

New Delhi: Former TERI chief R.K. Pachauri has passed away. He was 79.

Pachauri, who had been admitted to the Escorts Heart Institute in the national capital had suffered from a prolonged cardiac ailment. He was put on life support on Tuesday and underwent an open heart surgery at the hospital, PTI quoted sources as having said.

He passed away at his residence in Delhi.

The environmentalist had suffered a heart stroke in Mexico in July last year, PTI has further reported.

Pachauri had to step down from his position in TERI, an organisation he founded, after he was accused of sexually harassing a former woman colleague.

A district court had in October 2018 framed molestation charges against Pachauri, who had repeatedly denied the allegations levelled against him. During the court hearings, Pachauri had sought a speedy trial saying he and his family were suffering from hardship since 2015, when an FIR was lodged in the matter. A second woman had come forward with similar charges against him in the meantime.

After the FIR was registered in February 2015, Pachauri was given anticipatory bail the next month.

The Caravan had published an investigative report on allegations that Pachauri had systematically used his position to sexually harass several women employees of TERI.

Pachauri had, in the course of the proceedings, filed a civil suit against lawyer Vrinda Grover for her efforts to get other women to come forward in the case.

Pachauri was the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2002 till February 2015. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize during his tenure.

“Dr Pachauri’s contribution to global sustainable development is unparalleled. His leadership of the IPCC laid the ground for climate change conversations today,” said TERI chairman Nitin Desai in a tweet.

A Padma Bhushan winner, Pachauri conceptualised and launched the ‘Lighting a Billion Lives’ initiative in 2008, to facilitate clean energy access for all.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

“His courageous leadership allowed climate change to be recognised world over as the most pressing issue confronting the world and launched a new era of international deliberations and actions,” his family told PTI.