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A long road to justice in the R K Pachauri harassment case


New Delhi, Sep 15: After struggling for three years, the ex-employee of TERI finally saw a ray of hope when Delhi's Saket Court ordered framing of charges against her former boss and environmentalist RK Pachauri in the high-profile sexual harassment case.

'Chuffed to bits. This has not been easy. This is a big big leap towards the truth,' the woman said moments after the court's order.

A long road to justice in the R K Pachauri harassment case

'I am relieved and exhausted fighting RK Pachauri,' she added.

Also Read | Sexual Harassment Case: Court orders framing of charges against Environmentalist RK Pachauri

The Saket Court ordered framing of molestation charges against former TERI chief in the 2015 case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta ordered framing of charges under sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks) and section 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"I order framing of charges under these sections. Let the charges formally be framed on October 20," the judge said.

The court, however, discharged him of certain other sections including criminal intimidation (506 of IPC) and wrongfully restraining a person (341 of IPC), saying "prima facie" these charges were not made out.

Advocate Ashish Dixit, who represented Pachauri, however said that there was no case against his client and he will fight the charges during the trial.

Also Read | Pachauri questioned in sexual harassment case

On February 13, 2015, an FIR was registered against Pachauri and he was granted anticipatory bail in the case on March 21.

The former TERI chief had earlier secured an interim order from Additional District Judge making it mandatory for media houses to publish or telecast the coverage of the case with a title which says -- "In any court, the allegations have not been proved and they may not be correct." This order had also said that "when such information is published in any page of a magazine or report, then it should be in middle of the page in bold letters and it should be five times larger than the font in which the article is being published".

Over 1,400-page chargesheet was filed by the Delhi Police on March 1, 2016, saying there was "sufficient evidence" against Pachauri that he had sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the complainant.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed in March 2017 after the police said it had retrieved several deleted e-mails and chats exchanged between the accused and the complainant.

The final report had said the deleted WhatsApp chats, text messages, retrieved from the cell phones, computer hard disks and other devices, were "not fabricated".

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