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ICC report against Pachauri stayed

Appellate Tribunal has stayed the ICC report after admitting an appeal filed on behalf of Pachauri

NAVTAN KUMAR  New Delhi | 20th Jun 2015

Rajendra K. Pachauri. PTI

In a fresh development, an Appellate Tribunal has stayed the report of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), after admitting an appeal filed on behalf of Rajendra K. Pachauri, Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), who is facing charges of sexual harassment.

In its order, the Tribunal said "the counsel has taken me through the enquiry report of the committee and has pointed out that principles of natural justice have not been followed at all by the said Committee, contrary to Rules". The Tribunal while issuing notice to the respondents returnable on 15 July, said "in the mean time, operation of the report of Internal Complaints Committee shall remain stayed".

This is the second relief for Pachauri in the last few weeks. On 21 May, acting on a plea by Pachauri, the Sessions Court, South East District, Delhi, ordered the police agency investigating the allegations to complete its investigation by 17 July, failing which the court can modify one of the conditions of not entering the TERI premises, for the purpose of earning his livelihood. The Tribunal has also stayed any action which could have stemmed from the investigation, conducted by the ICC after a TERI employee made allegations against Pachauri, on the basis of its report.

The Industrial Tribunal, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi, also issued notices to the Union of India, the institution and the complainant to file replies to the matter by 15 July. According to the appeal, Pachauri was prevented from sufficiently defending himself because the ICC withheld anonymous statements from unknown witnesses and rushed the enquiry. That left Pacharui with no opportunity to rebut the statements, including ones made by the complainant. It also points out that the ICC ignored Pachauri's repeated requests to replace the sole male member of the ICC when he resigned from the committee due to medical reasons.

The appeal on behalf of Pachauri has pointed out serious procedural errors, factual inaccuracies, legal lapses and prejudicial conduct by the ICC, which created a report which was "bad both in law and on facts... and is premised upon conjectures and surmises".

The ICC report, the appeal said, "is abuse of the principles of natural justice", with the enquiry having being conducted in haste and with predetermined conclusions about Pachauri's conduct.

 
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