TERI DG R K Pachauri today opposed in Delhi High Courta woman’s plea alleging that TERI had not acted against him as per the recommendations of an internal complaints committee in connection with her sexual harassment complaint.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) chief, in his affidavit before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, said the petition should be dismissed with exemplary cost as it amounted to the abuse of process of law.
“The petition warrants dismissal on the ground of the fact that alternative statutory remedy is envisaged under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act and the petitioner has already invoked the remedy as provided under the Act.
“This attempt by petitioner has aroused situation wherein simultaneous proceedings are pending before this court and the Industrial Tribunal which shall cause waste of precious judicial time,” Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit said.
Pachauri was responding to the plea of the 29-year-old complainant who had recently quit the organisation alleging she was being treated in the “worst possible manner”, a charge denied by TERI as “completely false and baseless”.
Earlier, TERI had termed the petition as not maintainable as there was an alternative remedy of approaching an appellate authority, prescribed by the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act and Rules against non-implementation of the internal complaints committee (ICC) recommendations.
Depending on the decision of the appellate authority, a plea can be moved before the court, TERI had said.
However, the counsel for the woman employee had said they have challenged Sexual Harassment at Workplace Rules to the extent that they vest a tribunal set up under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act to deal with appeals against ICC report or non-implementation of its recommendations.
Earlier, the woman’s counsel had alleged in court that TERI and its governing council had “primarily failed to treat it as a misconduct or suspend him (Pachauri)” as recommended by ICC in its report.
The counsel also alleged that TERI was treating the ICC report “like a backroom inquiry” and sought its service rules saying there was a “lack of transparency” on how the organisation, funded by the government, worked.
On February 13 last year, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Pachauri had moved the trial court for relief following the direction of the High Court, which had on February 19 last year given him interim protection from arrest till February 23, 2015.
( Source – PTI )