Complainant in TERI sexual harassment case resigns

Complainant in TERI sexual harassment case resigns


The TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) employee, who had accused the institute's Director General R.K. Pachauri of sexual harassment, has resigned.

The complainant sent her resignation letter to TERI HR Director Dinesh Verma, alleging that the organisation treated her in the "worst possible manner" and harmed her "mentally, professionally and economically". She also said that despite the enquiry committee finding Pachauri guilty of misconduct, the organisation ‘failed’ to do the ‘bare minimum’ to ensure that she is not impacted.

“Your organisation has treated me in the worst possible manner. TERI failed to uphold my interests as an employee, let alone protecting them. The Council could not even suspend a man pending enquiry and took no action despite the indictment. You also created a hostile environment which has only escalated and showed no signs of subsiding whatsoever,” she said.

The complainant also said that she tendered her resignation without any prejudice to her rights to claim salary, damages and other due for the "gross misconduct and mental torture" meted out to her at the work place, apart from taking all pending litigation to their logical conclusion.

The TERI, on its part, said it was unfortunate that the complainant has chosen to make false and baseless claims against TERI in her resignation letter. A statement issued by TERI said: “TERI has been completely fair and totally neutral in the matter. The organization has till date accorded special privileges to the complainant and acceded to all her demands. The organization has not favoured anyone which is a fact apparent from documented records.”

In February, an FIR was lodged against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under different IPC Sections. The court had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing the conditions that he would join the investigation as and when called and not enter the TERI office premises.

TERI governing council subsequently appointed Ajay Mathur as its director general. He, however, is yet to join the organisation. Mathur, currently DG of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), will take up his new responsibility as soon as he is in a position to do so, subsequent to being relieved from his current responsibilities by the Government of India, after a brief period of transition.

In April this year, the complainant wrote to TERI requesting permission to work from home. However, TERI made it clear that it was not the institute’s policy to allow working from home. However, she was asked to join TERI’s world class Nano Biotechnology Centre, which is located close to her residence in Gurgaon.

The ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) submitted its report as prescribed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, after completing its investigations into allegations that Pachauri harassed the TERI employee. However, in May, a Tribunal stayed the ICC report after admitting an appeal filed on behalf of Pachauri.

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