New Delhi: The police on Thursday sought cancellation of anticipatory bail to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Director General R.K. Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment, saying he was influencing witnesses and misusing the liberty of bail, a charge denied him.
In its plea before a Delhi High Court bench of Justice S P Garg, the Delhi Police submitted that Pachauri was evasive during interrogation and not cooperating with probe agencies, as it supported the alleged victim’s plea that the bail granted to him should be cancelled.
Pachauri, on the other hand, submitted that there was “nothing on record to suggest that he has ever influenced witnesses or any other persons related to the present case or interfered in the investigation”.
The submissions of the police and Pachauri were made before the court, which was hearing the woman’s plea seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to him by a lower court on March 21.
The 29-year-old female research analyst has alleged in her application that “free and fair investigation” cannot be carried out if Pachauri was “allowed to roam around freely”.
Countering this contention, the TERI chief said there was “nothing on record to suggest that free and fair investigation is not possible in the present case”.
The police in a status report filed through their Additional Standing Counsel said “during the course of investigation, R K Pachauri was interrogated four times at his residence in the presence of his lawyer, but he is not cooperating completely with the investigating agency and (has) avoided giving proper replies to the questions put up before him during interrogation”.
Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who filed reply on behalf of the TERI chief, said “Pachauri has cooperated in the investigation to the best of his abilities.”
The court, which took note of both the affidavits, fixed the matter for disposal on September 30.
The police in their status report also submitted that “investigation of the case is at a very crucial stage. FSL (forensic) result in the matter with regard to tampering/ hacking mobile phones, computers, laptops and other electronic gadgets from which the messages/e-mails have been sent to the complainant by the respondent 2 (Pachauri), is awaited.
“Detailed custodial interrogation of Pachauri is required to ascertain true facts of the case as he is giving evasive replies to the questions put up to him by the investigating agency. He is misusing liberty of anticipatory bail and is influencing the witnesses by giving them certain directions as admitted by him during interrogation”
The probe agency further said they had written to the chief of the forensic lab in Gandhinagar, Gujarat to give an opinion at the earliest with regard to tampering/hacking of electronic gadgets/devices.
“Keeping in view the above facts and circumstances, the bail granted to R K Pachauri may be cancelled,” the police status report added.
In his reply, the TERI chief claimed he had never “interacted with the complainant since she was transferred and the alleged attempts made by him are categorically denied as they are incorrect and malicious”.
It further said that the “bona fide of the present application are highly doubtful because the petitioner (woman) has never challenged the grant of anticipatory of bail till the time he sought modification of the condition”.
“It is prayed that this court should not entertain such surreptitious petitions in the interest of justice. Dismiss the present petition seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to him,” Pachauri said in his reply, adding that “grant cost of present proceedings”.