The Delhi Police, for the first time, questioned Nobel laureate and former TERI chief R K Pachauri after he was booked for allegedly molesting and sexually harassing a research associate working in his office.Police questioned him for around three hours at his residence in the presence of his advocate.
Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail:
Pachauri was given a questionnaire with around 30 questions. While he bluntly denied his involvement in the alleged molestation case, police said he could not give a satisfactory answer when he was asked why he did not approach them when someone had hacked his email account.
Despite repeated attempts Pachauri and his lawyer were not available for comments. Sources in the South district police said a team of three officers — including inspectors Virender Dalal and Ajay Singh Negi from Lodhi Colony police station reached Pachauri’s house around 2.30 pm.
They had reportedly informed him about the questioning round and asked him to be present.“They started questioning Pachauri in his lawyer’s presence, who was at the house when they arrived.
While Inspector Dalal asked the questions, Inspector Negi noted down the answers,” a police officer said. After around 11 questions, investigators asked him about the hacking of his emails.
Police said Pachauri failed to give a satisfactory reply and started misleading them by giving vague answers. “Unsatisfied with his answers, police is now planning to take legal help.
Pachauri will be questioned again in the coming days,” a senior officer said. Sources also said the investigators asked Pachauri why he had given several gifts to the woman and why he wrote letters to her.
“In his defence, Pachauri said he had given the gifts as a token of respect towards her. He said the letters were written as poetry and not addressed to anyone,” the officer said.Most of the questions were based on the contents of the woman’s complaint and the allegations she had levelled against Pachauri.
Police had booked Pachauri in February under charges pertaining to molestation, stalking and sexual harassment (sections 354, 354A and 354D of IPC) on the basis of a complaint filed by a former employee of the organisation.
The woman had claimed that Pachauri had sexually harassed her for around two years since she joined in September 2013 .In the FIR, the complainant has claimed that Pachauri had sexually harassed her for nearly two years since she joined the organisation in September 2013 and filed a complaint in February.
She also alleged that Pachauri had engaged in “sexually-laden conversations” with her over Email, SMS and WhatsApp Messages.
Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail on March 21 but was directed not to enter the TERI office till the investigation is complete and not to leave the country without the court’s permission.
He is currently Professor at Yale School of Forestry & Environment Studies as well as Honorary Professor of the University of Eastern Finland.