The Delhi High Court refused an application to immediately cancel the anticipatory bail given to TERI Director Dr. RK Pachauri in a sexual harassment case.
Posting the matter for July 16, the Court did not accept the plea of the woman that "free and fair investigation" cannot be carried out if Pachauri is "allowed to roam around freely". Meanwhile, the Counsel for Mr. Pachauri sought more time for filing responses and Justice S P Garg agreed to the same and said, "Let them (Pachauri and Delhi Police) file their responses then we will think over it. There is no point of cancelling the bail application immediately."
The Court added,"This application (for cancellation of Pachauri's bail) should not come in the way of trial court proceedings."
Appearing for the Complainant, Advocate Prashant Mendiratta submitted to the Court that Dr. Pachauri has even sought modification of a Trial Court order after which he was debarred from entering TERI premises. To this, the High Court observed, "We will see about this at later stage."
Senior advocates Dayan Krishnan and Ramesh Gupta appeared for Dr. Pachauri and opposed the application for canceling his anticipatory bail. Meanwhile, Advocate Prashant Mendiratta argued that "grave prejudice would be caused" if the bail is not canceled and that "overwhelming evidence" against Pachauri that he misused the bail conditions. He said, "Pachauri now sought modification of order by which he was granted anticipatory bail. He is an influential man. He should not be allowed to enter TERI premises till the investigation is going on.”
However, the Court observed, "Police seeks time to file status report. Let both the parties file status report in four weeks. List the matter for further hearing on July 16."
On February 13, an FIR was registered against Dr. Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). It was on March 21 that the Trial Court gave him anticipatory bail.
After the complaint was filed. Dr. Pachauri has stepped down from UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is on leave from TERI.
You may also read: TERI Director Dr. R.K. Pachauri seeks Court permission to rejoin TERI; matter adjourned till May 21.