NEW DELHI: More trouble seems to be in store for the former chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), R K Pachauri, as yet another former employee, a foreign national, has alleged that he had sexually harassed her.
The 27-year-old issued a statement claiming her contract at TERI was terminated in 2008 after she resisted his advances. According to the statement, she decided to go public now so that people got to know the truth about Pachauri, who claims to have been framed in the ongoing cases of sexual harassment filed against him by two other employees.
“When I was 19, I worked for four months at TERI as Pachauri’s secretary. From the beginning I noted a big difference in the way Pachauri behaved around me, compared to how other Indian men behaved with me. He would put his hands on my waist, hug me longer than it felt comfortable, kiss me on the cheek and inquire about my private life,” she said in her statement.
“Pachauri’s claim that his computer was hacked is totally false. From my point of view, the allegations against him are right in line with his character,” she said. She said Pachauri would call her to office during non-working hours and holidays for no specific task. “Pachauri would indulge in frivolous talk and try to get close to me. When nobody else was in the office, I remember feeling very wary of the fact that we were alone in the building, so I would lie that a couple of friends were waiting outside. On one of these occasions, I actually was sick and could not come to office. He then came to my home with a bouquet of roses,” she said.
She said the tipping point was when Pachauri asked her to join him at his summer house outside the city for a weekend. “It would have just been him and me there, since he made it very clear that his wife was out of town. At this point I felt genuinely scared of what his motives for inviting me over were, and I decided to speak out. I told him that he needed to behave more professionally and that I wanted us to have no other contact than during office hours,” she added. She said Pachauri was agitated and told her he was trying to make her feel welcome in India.
“Soon after that conversation, I asked to be transferred to another department.... My request was granted but he still contacted me and asked me to come to his office a few times thereafter. After I made it clear to him that I did not want to work with him anymore, he called me to his office one last time and told me he decided to end my contract,” she said.
Yet another former employee, a European national who worked as his secretary, has claimed that her contract was terminated after she resisted his advances
Last February, a 26-year-old researcher accused him of harassing her via email, WhatsApp and text messages
In February this year, a second former employee alleged sexual harassment between 2003 and 2004