NEW DELHI: Former UN climate panel chief Rajendra Pachauri said Thursday that he quit his Indian think-tank to pursue other interests, at a time when he is facing allegations of sexual harassment.
The 75-year-old faces several police charges including sexual harassment, after a female employee at his New Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) filed a complaint last year accusing him of sending inappropriate texts and emails.
Pachauri announced late Thursday that his term had ended last month at TERI, which he had been heading for more than three decades.
“My term as a Member of the Governing Council ended on March 31, 2016,” Pachauri said in a statement sent to AFP by his lawyer Ashish Dixit.
“I felt that it was time for me to move away and get engaged in other interests which I have harboured over the past few years for activities at the global level,” he added.
Pachauri, a leading voice on the dangers of global warming, was forced to quit as chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February 2015 after a colleague in her late twenties filed a complaint against him.
In July, TERI announced it would replace Pachauri after a backlash over his return to work while facing the allegations.
A court had barred him from entering the institute’s office for many months following the complaint.
It later allowed him to return to work while still on bail, on the condition that he steer clear of his alleged victim.
His appointment as TERI executive vice-chairman in February caused outrage, forcing the institute, where he had worked for 35 years, to put him on indefinite leave.
Pachauri denies the complainant’s accusations and has said his emails and mobile phone were hacked.
The police charges against him are due to be heard by a Delhi court on Saturday.
Earlier this month, a third former employee of Pachauri accused him of sexual harassment during a short stint as his secretary in 2008 — an allegation Pachauri rejects.