Over a Year After Sexual Harassment Charges, TERI Ends Association With Pachauri

Sexual harassment charges against R.K. Pachauri were filed in February 2015. The organisation's governing council has now decided to sever all ties with him.

New Delhi: The governing council at TERI has decided to sever all ties with R.K. Pachauri, say reports.

The council decided at a meeting earlier this week that they would not be renewing Pachauri’s membership with the council, which ended on March 31. Even though Pachauri’s employment contract doesn’t end until 2017, this decision means that he is no longer Executive Vice Chairman of the organisation. This was a position created especially for him after he was removed as TERI chief following the allegations of sexual harassment. All dues for the remainder of the tenure will be paid to him.

The sexual harassment charges were filed by a female employee – who subsequently resigned from the organisation – in February 2015, but the governing council did not remove him as chief until July 2015.

TERI’s own internal complaints committee found Pachauri guilty of the charges.

In February this year, the council created the post of Executive Vice Chairman especially for Pachauri. Days later, the council was forced to send Pachauri on paid leave because protesting students refused to accept their degrees from him.

Sources told The Economic Times that the decision to sever ties with Pachauri completely was taken because things had become too “messy” in the last seven to eight months.

Two more women have come forward since the original complaint, accusing Pachauri of harassing them. Pachauri has argued that his computer and phone were hacked, a claim that police have already refuted.

Read here for a critique of how TERI mishandled the case, and showed a disregard for legal processes, and read here for expert opinions on the impact of the case.