A Delhi court on Wednesday directed the police to hand over seized documents to RK Pachauri, the former director of The Energy and Resources Institute, in a sexual harassment case filed by an ex-colleague against him. Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar ordered the investigating officer to hand over mirror images of the seized documents to Pachauri, PTI reported.
The court took note of the submissions made by Pachauri’s counsel Ashish Dixit that his client was entitled to the complete chain of SMS and WhatsApp messages allegedly exchanged between him and the complainant. Dixit claimed that the screenshots of the alleged messages were incomplete, and that the complainant had manipulated them.
The court was hearing Pachauri’s appeal against a magistrate court’s decision dismissing his plea for the documents. The Delhi Police had opposed the appeal, saying that the prosecution had not relied upon the documents sought by the accused.
On October 20, the court had framed charges against Pachauri. 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.
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.