A second woman colleague has accused former TERI chief R K Pachauri, who has now been appointed executive vice chairman, of sexual harassment, NDTV reported Wednesday. Pachauri is already facing a court hearing on whether his bail in an earlier sexual harassment case should be cancelled.
The second TERI staffer, who worked in Pachauri's non-profit think tank The Energy Research Institute (TERI) between 2003 and 2004, accused him of being a serial offender, telling NDTV news channel that "There has been a pattern to his sexual harassment. Not just me but a lot of female colleagues. His harassment was a topic of corridor gossip."
Claiming that Pachauri gave her a sexually suggestive nickname after her appointment, she told the channel that Pachauri would call her to his room on the pretext of work and then make sexual advances. He would stand very close, try to kiss or hold her, and even call her on weekends.
Citing various such instances she said, "On one occasion, when he had called me to his sixth floor office room to discuss work, he told me that he could lift hefty and heavy women, and so lifting me would not be a problem for him...Once when I said I had migraine, he said he could give good head massages."
Frustrated and agonised after she was laughed at following a complaint to TERI, she decided to fully support the woman who filed a police complaint against Pachauri last year.
The 29-year old complainant who file the first complaint has challenged Pachauri's bail plea which is slated for a hearing later today. However, Pachauri has filed his reply in court denying all allegations and accusing the complainant of trying to sensationalise the case.
Also read: Open letter by angry TERI victim on R K Pachauri's promotion
An internal inquiry committee of TERI had already founded Pachauri guilty of misconduct, thereby removing him as the chief. However, in a recent development TERI created a new post executive vice-chairman for Pachauri. Responding to his development, the complainant remarked, "The news of promotion of a man who stands booked on charges of sexual harassment at workplace...makes my flesh crawl."
Both TERI and Pachauri are facing heavy criticism following such allegations with students graduating from TERI University on March 7 having refused to accept their degrees from Pachauri.
Also read: TERI students refuse to accept degrees from R K Pachauri
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