Delhi’s Saket court on Saturday framed charges against former Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute RK Pachauri in a sexual harassment case, reported ANI.
The court framed the charges under Sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks), 509 (easing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code.
The charges were framed after Pachauri, who was present in the courtroom, pleaded not guilty and sought a speedy trial in the case, PTI reported. “My age is 78 years, please expedite matter,” he was quoted as saying.
The court has summoned the complainant for cross examination on January 4 and 5, reported ANI. It posted the matter for further hearing on January 4.
Meanwhile, the complainant will appeal against the order of a lower court that had dropped three charges, reported The Economic Times. The charges that were not included are stalking (IPC Section 354-D), wrongful restraint (Section 341) and criminal intimidation (Section 506).
“The charges dropped [by the lower court] include all the ingredients of the offence committed by the accused,” said complainant’s counsel, adding that an appeal will be filed in the Sessions Court.
Pachauri was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague in 2015. When the woman filed a complaint against Pachauri that year, he immediately moved a Delhi court for anticipatory bail and the police was initially restrained from arresting him. He was never arrested during the investigation.
On March 1, 2016, the Delhi Police had filed a 1,400-page chargesheet against Pachauri for allegedly sexually harassing the woman. He was also accused of stalking and criminally intimidating the victim.
Reports said that after a year-long investigation into the case against Pachauri, the police found more than 6,000 texts and WhatsApp messages between him and the complainant between September 2013 and February 2015, besides 34 calls he had made to her in that time. In February 2016, another woman accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her.
In February, a Delhi court dismissed Pachauri’s plea for a gag order against media coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against him. Pachauri claimed that the women’s allegations against him, covered by several media houses, was damaging his reputation.