Pachauri allowed to travel abroad

New Delhi : A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed TERI Director General R K Pachauri, who is facing sexual harassment allegations from a woman employee, to visit China and Japan to attend a global meet to discuss environmental issues.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan, while allowing Pachauri to go abroad from August 21 to September 1, directed him to furnish two local sureties of Rs.2,00,000 each and inform the Indian embassies in both the countries about his arrival.                 The court also asked him to provide updates on his travel plans by filing the itinerary and photocopy of tickets and passport before it.

“The accused (Pachauri) is permitted to travel to China between August 21 and August 29 and thereafter to Japan till August 30/September 1, subject to furnishing of two local sureties of Rs.2,00,000 each to the satisfaction of this court and upon furnishing an undertaking that he will make himself available to the investigating officer (IO) as per requirement upon service of notice on him.

“The accused shall also file a copy of his travel tickets along with photocopies of all pages of his passport, all valid visas and itinerary in court prior to his travel and shall also intimate the court and IO after his return”, it said. Advocate Ashish Dixit, appearing for Pachauri, said his client has been cooperating in the probe and he needed to attend the meetings and deliver a lecture on climate change on August 28 in China.

In its order, the court noted that a sessions court order of March 21 mandates Pachauri to only obtain prior permission before travelling abroad but does not impose absolute prohibition from leaving the country during pendency of probe.

Meanwhile, complainant’s counsel Prashant Mendirata opposed Pachauri’s application on the ground that he has been removed from the job and was not capable of representing the country. Maintaining that he was facing serious charges and must not be allowed to leave the country, Mendirata said Pachauri “wants to travel abroad in his personal capacity and the police still has to question him. Section 354 (molestation) of IPC is a serious offence.”

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