Activists urge fair probe after Pachauri quits over sexual harassment complaint

Activists have called for a fair and time bound probe after The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) chief RK Pachauri quit as chair of the UN panel of climate scientists following a sexual harassment complaint against him.

New Delhi: Activists have called for a fair and time bound probe after The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) chief RK Pachauri quit as chair of the UN panel of climate scientists following a sexual harassment complaint against him.

"The enquiry should be conducted in a free and fair manner and it should be conducted in time bound manner also, so that the entire truth should come out and the justice should be ensured to the complainant without wasting any time. This is so important because it's such a high profile case," said social activist Annie Raja.

Meanwhile women's rights activist, Kavita Krishnan, also welcomed Pachauri's move.

"Stepping down would not be an admission of guilt. He should step down from the posts he holds, both in TERI as well as in the IPCC. This is simply because this case is a sexual harassment charge and until it is investigated properly, he should step down pending the investigation. This is something we had said right from the beginning, it's very important. I am glad that it has been done," said Krishnan.

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, Pachauri pulled out of an IPCC meeting in Kenya this week after the Delhi police started investigating the complaint by a female researcher.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, he wrote that his inability to travel to Kenya showed he may be unable to ensure the "strong leadership and dedication of time and full attention by the chair" needed by the panel.

"I have, therefore, taken the decision to step down," he wrote.

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