NEW DELHI: A third former employee of Rajendra Pachauri has accused the ex-head of the UN climate panel of sexual harassment, after he was charged last month over a similar complaint.
The woman, who has not taken her allegations to police, says she suffered harassment when she worked at the New Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) which Pachauri headed until this year.
“From the beginning Pachauri would put his hands on my waist repeated times, he would hug me longer than felt comfortable, kissed me on the cheek and inquired about my private life,” she said in a statement emailed to AFP on Friday by her lawyer Vrinda Grover.
“The tipping point came when he said that I should join him in his summer house outside of the city for the weekend… he made it very clear that his wife was out of town.”
Her allegations, which date back to 2008, came a month after Indian police charged the 75-year-old with sexually harassing a young female employee at TERI.
The complainant, who cannot be named, accused him of repeatedly sending inappropriate emails, text and WhatsApp messages.
Pachauri, a leading voice on the dangers of global warming, denies the accusations and has said his email and phone were hacked. His lawyer Ashish Dixit accused Grover, who also represents the complainant in the legal case against Pachauri, of waging a “prejudiced, biased campaign” against his client.
“If you are serious about such grave allegations, then go to police, take the matter to court. Why email them to media and then do nothing about it?” he told AFP. “This is all done for publicity and media attention, nothing else.”
Pachauri was forced to quit as chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February 2015 after the former employee filed her complaint with police.
Then last July TERI announced it was replacing Pachauri after a backlash over his return to work while facing the allegations, although he continued to work for the organisation until a replacement was appointed.
The emergence in February of a second female employee who accused Pachauri of “sexually-loaded” behaviour sparked outrage over his continued presence at the organisation which put him on indefinite leave, though her complaint was not registered with police.
The latest complainant said she decided to speak out after reading an interview published in The Guardian newspaper in which Pachauri reiterated his innocence. The police charges are due to be heard by a Delhi court on April 23.