Breather for Dr. Pachauri: High Court refuses to cancel his anticipatory bail

Delhi High Court: Facing serious allegations of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation against a colleague Research Analyst, Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Ex-Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), who has been out on anticipatory bail since March, 2015 had another sigh of relief as the Single Bench of Garg J. dismissed the petition advanced by the complainant for canceling his bail order.

In February, 2015, a Research Analyst at TERI formally complained before the Internal Complaints Committee alleging sexual harassment by the accused. Prompted by the inaction over the complaint and the increase in instances of harassments, the aggrieved analyst filed a subsequent complaint with the police, which was later recorded as an FIR. The accused filed an application for early hearing, whereby he was granted anticipatory bail. The Investigating Officer contested against granting of bail on the pretext that the accused had the potentiality to exercise extreme influence over the witnesses and the institute. However, the trial court went ahead to grant the anticipatory bail, which was challenged before the High Court. The complainant represented by Prashant Mendiratta argued that the trial Court did not appreciate that the investigating agency had filed various documents to reveal that the accused had influenced the witnesses and had directed them to state whatever he desired them to state before the police. Further arguing, the complainant stated that TERI officials had not been cooperating with the Probing Agency and that the accused had been passing on instructions to the witnesses, even tempting them with offers.

The Bench observed that the claims relating to influencing the witnesses did not hold water against the accused, since the accused had only asked the witness to add a particular information in the additional details section, which he considered relevant. Such an act could not be deemed as influencing. Also, the Bench remarked that the power to grant bail shall not be exercised as if the punishment before trial was being imposed. Finding no manifest error in the matter of bail granted by the trial Court, the Bench dismissed the petition upholding the trial Court order in its entirety.[X v. State, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 1380,  decided on 04/03/2016]

To read the Order, click HERE 

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