New Delhi: A court here has allowed the plea of environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused of sexually harassing a colleague, seeking copy of statements of 13 TERI employees which were not filed by Delhi Police during submission of chargesheet.
Additional Sessions Judge Suresh Kumar Gupta in a order on December 4 allowed Pachauri’s plea seeking copy of documents which were collected by the prosecution during the course of investigation but not replied upon while filing chargesheet in the case.
The order, delivered on December 4, was made available on Thursday.
“The prosecution is duty bound to supply these statements to the accused for a fair trial. The right of the accused to have copies of these statements cannot be curtailed as accused has to built up his defence on the basis of the documents supplied to him by the prosecution,” the court said.
However, the court observed the prosecution has not relied upon on these statements as they nowhere advance the case.
Pachauri’s counsel Ashish Dixit told the court these documents were concealed by Delhi Police while filing chargesheet. He said the copy of these statements would favour the accused in order to reveal the truth.
“These statements will help Pachauri to prepare his defence as 13 employees have recorded their statements saying they never felt any discomfort or exploitation with Pachauri,” the defence counsel told IANS.
Delhi Police has chargesheeted the former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) under the Indian Penal Code’s sections 354A (advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures), 354B (using criminal force against a woman), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 341 (wrongful restraint).
Pachauri was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague in 2015. He stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February 2015 and proceeded on leave from TERI, where he was the director general. Later, he also stepped down from his post in TERI.
Pachauri has denied the charges against him.
On February 26, 2017, a trial court passed an order making it mandatory for the media houses to publish or telecast the coverage of the case with a rider “in any court the allegations have not been proved and they may not be correct”.