India’s Pachauri asks court for permission to travel

Rajendra Pachauri, who stood down as head of the UN climate panel in February facing investigation for alleged sexual harassment, asked an Indian court Friday for permission to travel to Greece for a water conference.

The 74-year-old was barred from leaving the country pending a police investigation after a researcher at his New Delhi research institute accused him of sexual harassment — an allegation he denies.

“He has moved the court because he wants the court s permission to travel abroad to attend a water conference in Greece,” Pachauri s lawyer Ashish Bhan told AFP.

“The matter will most likely be heard on Monday or Tuesday because of a lawyers  strike in Delhi on Friday.”

Bhan did not say when the conference was, but the website of the Global Water Summit being held in Athens on April 27-28 lists Pachauri as a speaker.

Pachauri, a leading voice on the dangers of global warming, was chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning United Nation s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until he stood down in February.

He has also been barred during the investigation from entering the offices of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which he heads.

The 29-year-old researcher, who has not been named, accused him of repeatedly harassing her through inappropriate emails, text and WhatsApp messages.

Pachauri has said his emails and mobile phone were hacked.