RK Pachauri on Thursday went on leave after another former employee of The Energy and Resources Institute, Delhi, accused him of sexual harassment. TERI University's acting vice chancellor Rajiv Seth told The Indian Express that Pachauri will also skip the institute's convocation on March 7.

The institute's executive vice chairman and chancellor is currently out on bail after being accused of sexually harassing a junior colleague. On Wednesday, another employee accused him of relentlessly pursuing and molesting her. She told The Indian Express that he was a "serial sexual harasser" and that the kind of man he is is an an "open secret" in the organisation. She added that many other women at TERI were aware of his behaviour but do not come forward because of family pressures.

On Wednesday, at least 20 students who recently completed courses at the institute said they will not take their degrees from Pachauri. The students had joined the chorus of voices railing against Pachauri’s appointment to the newly created post despite the sexual harassment charges he is facing, The Times of India reported.

“We reiterate the trajectory that the university is taking is dangerous and grossly inconsiderate,” the students said in a letter addressed to Rajiv Seth. The letter was sent to the university’s board of management and academic council as well.

On the same day, a group of former TERI employees and alumni created an online petition against Pachauri, saying that his promotion sends out the wrong message and that employees would henceforth never be able to report any injustice, misconduct or discrimination.

Pachauri was promoted to the executive vice chairman post from his earlier director general position. An internal inquiry committee had found him guilty of sexually harassing a colleague last year and asked him to step down. Pachauri returned to the organisation later in the year after a court stayed the committee’s ruling.