A New Delhi court Thursday extended the interim protection of Rajendra Pachauri from arrest until Mar. 27. The ruling means the former head of the United Nations climate change panel who resigned Wednesday amid sexual harassment allegations will stay out of jail for another month. Pachauri, who led the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was accused of sexually harassing a 29-year-old woman at The Energy and Resources Institute, an energy and environment research institute in New Delhi where he is director general. The courts had previously granted him protection until Thursday.
“Accused is directed not to enter TERI office during the course of investigation. He is also directed not to contact TERI’s staff, complainant, witnesses or tamper with evidences and will join investigation after being released from hospital,” the judge ruled Thursday, according to Indian news site Indian Express. Pachauri was also forbidden from leaving the country without permission and that “his anticipatory bail application will be taken up for final disposal on March 27,” said the judge.
Pachauri’s advocate, Sidharth Luthra, had previously requested that the judge extend the protection until March 28, citing Pachauri’s inability to appear in court before that date due to “some engagements,” reported the Express. The courts initially agreed, but ultimately decided on the Mar. 27 stay date. Prosecution lawyers had opposed Pachauri’s bail, saying that he had not been cooperative with the investigations.
Investigation officer Pratibha Sharma submitted a report during Thursday’s hearing saying that Pachauri has been “deliberately avoiding joining of investigation on the pretext of ill health” and his conduct is “not bonafide in following the process of law,” according to the Express. Luthra had said that Pachauri had been cooperating with the investigations, and highlighted Pachauri’s heart condition as a reason for why he should not be arrested, according to Indian news site NDTV.
The victim involved in the case accused Pachauri, a Nobel Prize winner, of sexual harassment soon after she joined TERI in September 2013, submitting hundreds of text messages as evidence. Pachauri had denied the allegations, and said that his phone and computer were hacked, according to NDTV.