Ex-UN climate chief to resume work despite India sex claims

Rajendra PachauriAn Indian court Friday allowed former UN climate panel chief Rajendra Pachauri to return to work, a day after police accused him of obstructing investigations into sexual harassment claims against him, lawyers said.

Pachauri had requested a district court in the capital New Delhi to amend its earlier order that granted him anticipatory bail with a condition that he can not enter Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) offices.

Friday’s ruling means that he can now return to work at the Delhi-based thinktank but must steer clear of his alleged victim, according to defence and prosecution attorneys.

Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dikshit told AFP that his client was “satisfied” with Friday’s ruling.

“The court has allowed him to rejoin TERI at his same position and he has already joined with a condition of not visiting two offices,” Dikshit said.

Pachauri, a leading voice on the dangers of global warming, was forced to step down as the chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this year after a 29-year-old colleague said he had repeatedly sent her inappropriate emails and texts.

He has not been charged and a lower court in March granted him “anticipatory bail”, meaning that police cannot take him into custody or arrest him before a certain date.

Prashant Mendiratta, lawyer for the complainant, criticised the alteration to the bail conditions and said he would appeal the order.

“We haven’t yet received the written copy of the court judgment and will surely be challenging it,” Mendiratta told AFP.

During a separate high court hearing Thursday into whether his bail should be cancelled, police said that Pachauri had been actively obstructing their investigation while Mendiratta argued that the 74-year-old had been trying to influence witnesses.

The next hearing of the high court is not due until September 30.

He has denied the allegations and said his emails and mobile phone were hacked.

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