New Delhi, Oct 20: A Delhi court on Saturday paved the way for trial as it framed sexual harassment charges against noted environmentalist R.K. Pachauri and will start recording evidence from January 4, 2019. Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta formally framed the charges against Pachauri dealing with harassing a woman colleague in 2015 with intent to outrage her modesty, advances made in an unwelcome manner with explicit sexual overtures and for using words, gestures and acts intended to insult her modesty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Defence counsel Ashish Dixit requested the court to expedite the proceedings as Pachauri, 78, and his family were facing hardship due to the pendency. Pachauri pleaded not guilty and claimed a trial. On January 4, court will start examining prosecution witnesses against Pachauri.
In the last hearing, the court dropped charges of criminal force against a woman, stalking and wrongful restraint that were levelled against the former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) that the Delhi Police had booked him under.
Pachauri had to step down as Chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February 2015 and quit TERI after the charges emerged. Pachauri has denied all charges against him.