The Governing Council of the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) on Friday appointed former finance secretary Ashok Chawla as its new chairman and informed that one of his predecessors, R K Pachauri, has been asked to stay on leave until further notice.
“Dr. R.K. Pachauri, who had been head of the institute since 1982, will be on leave from TERI, TERI Governing Council, and TERI University till this (matter of alleged sexual harassment) is reviewed by the Governing Council given its sub-judice nature,” TERI said in a statement.
“Pachauri, who had been at the Head of the Institute since 1982 will be on leave from TERI, TERI Governing Council, and TERI University till this is reviewed by the Governing Council given the subjudice nature of the matter,” said a statement issued by TERI.
While the Governing Council meet was happening, a group of women right activists held protests outside TERI’s office demanding removal of Pachauri.
The council having members like former Chairman, HSBC India Naina Lal Kidwai and Chairman HDFC Deepak Parekh also appointed Ashok Chawla, former Finance Secretary to the Government of India and former Chairman of the Competition Commission as its new Chairman. Sreekantan, who resigned as the Chairman of the Council today, had been a Member of the Council for over 40 years. There was no reason given for his resignation.
Facing the heat due to multiple sexual harassment charges, Pachauri was recently elevated to the newly created post of executive chairman, a move which triggered severe criticism from the alumni and women activists across the country.
“Pachauri, a serial sexual harasser, who should have been punished by now has actually been rewarded with a new and higher position! This is a mockery of the laws of our country and of the struggles of the complainant’s long and difficult struggles,” said one of the victims.