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Stop Pachauri from going to Nairobi, demand lawyers

Stop Pachauri from going to Nairobi, demand lawyers

New Delhi: Eminent lawyer Indira Jaisinh Saturday urged the government not to allow TERI director general R.K. Pachauri - facing the allegations of sexual harassment - to travel to Nairobi to attend an international climate conference.

Addressing media persons, she sought the issuance of the "look out" notice against the noted environmental expert, expressing apprehension that once he leaves the country, he may not return to face the law.

Jaisinh also sought that Pachauri be removed from chief of The Energy Research Institute (TERI)as he faced serious allegations of sexual harassment.

She said that though he was still under investigation but since he has been accused of "gross crime of sexual harassment it is a case of moral imperative". Jaisinh also demanded that Pachauri should not be allowed to represent India on international fora.

Accusing Pachauri of manipulating the legal system and trying to muzzle the media by seeking court order to restrain media from carrying stories on the allegations of sexual harassment against him by a research analyst at TERI, she asked if he had disclosed to the Delhi High Court that he was travelling to Nairobi to attend a conference on climate Feb 22 when it restrained police from arresting him till Feb 23.

"We are not arguing for his custodial interrogation.... that would depend on the level of co-operation in the investigation," she said.

Another activist lawyer Vrinda Grover said that it was not the first instance of Pachauri indulging in the acts of sexual harassment and there are other instances of such indecent behaviour and misconduct by him.

She read out a letter written by a former research associate of TERI, now settled abroad, who too had leveled these allegations in 2006 and said tthat way back in 2006, she had little courage to speak out but today she has a little more courage to disclose the harassment she underwent.

The present victim's lawyer Prashant Mendiratta sought the media co-operation in exposing the matter, expressing his fear that the investigation may get derailed given the stature and clout of Pachauri.

He sought the presence of four to five senior journalists when the victim hands over to police her mobile phone to police containing SMS messages sent by Pachauri as he voiced apprehensions that it may be damaged to erase the evidence.

Meanwhile the women members of civil society has demanded that Pachauri should not be allowed to travel abroad till investigations into the allegations of sexual harassment are pending as he may not return to India.

They have sought to know why a lookout circular has not been issued against him as was done in the case of green activist Priya Pillai.

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