Indian ex-climate chief denied permission to attend summit after sexual harassment complaint

pachauriAn Indian court on Thursday refused Rajendra Pachauri permission to attend an international water conference after the leading global voice on climate change was accused of sexual harassment by a female colleague.

Pachauri, 74, quit as chair of the United Nations panel of climate scientists in February after a 29-year-old researcher at his Delhi-based think tank made the accusation against him. Pachauri has denied the allegation.

The Indian scientist, who has been granted protection from arrest, had asked the Delhi High Court for permission to travel to Greece to attend the Global Water Summit on April 27-28.

The summit’s website had listed Pachauri as the keynote speaker at the opening of the conference.

“You (Pachauri) should have approached well within the time, as you have (had) information of the event since June 2014,” said Justice S. P. Garg, dismissing Pachauri’s request.

Indian police are investigating the complaint by the researcher at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), who said Pachauri harassed her since 2013 by email, Whatsapp and text messaging, despite her requests that he stop.

Pachauri’s lawyers had previously said his computer and mobile phone were hacked and that vested interests were maligning him because of his stance on global warming.

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