A Delhi court on Friday ordered framing of molestation charges against former TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) chief R K Pachauri in a case of alleged sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague.
Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta ordered framing of charges under Sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks) and Section 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code.
"I order framing of charges under these sections. Let the charges formally be framed on October 20," the judge said.
The court, however, discharged him of certain other sections including criminal intimidation (506 of IPC) and wrongfully restraining a person (341 of IPC), saying 'prima facie' these charges were not made out.
Reacting to the development, the complainant said she was relieved after hearing the order.
"Chuffed to bits. This has not been easy. This is a big big leap towards the truth. I am relieved, and exhausted fighting Pachauri," she said.
Advocate Ashish Dixit, who represented Pachauri, said however that there was no case against his client and he will fight the charges during the trial.
On February 13, 2015, an FIR was registered against Pachauri and he was granted anticipatory bail in the case on March 21.
The former TERI chief had earlier secured an interim order from Additional District Judge making it mandatory for media houses to publish or telecast the coverage of the case with a title which says -- 'In any court, the allegations have not been proved and they may not be correct'.
This order had also said that 'when such information is published in any page of a magazine or report, then it should be in middle of the page in bold letters and it should be five times larger than the font in which the article is being published'.
Over 1,400-page charge sheet was filed by the Delhi Police on March 1, 2016, saying there was 'sufficient evidence' against Pachauri that he had sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the complainant.
A supplementary charge sheet was filed in March 2017 after the police said it had retrieved several deleted e-mails and chats exchanged between the accused and the complainant.
The final report had said the deleted WhatsApp chats, text messages, retrieved from the cell phones, computer hard disks and other devices, were 'not fabricated'.
The charge sheet, which was filed a year after the former research analyst of TERI lodged the complaint, had said Pachauri had committed offences under various sections of IPC.
Pachauri has denied all the allegations against him.