Environmentalist R K Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment by his former women colleagues in the recent past, has stepped down as a member of the Governing Council of TERI "to get engaged in other interests".
The announcement came on the heels of a media report which said the green body has decided to "sever" its association with Pachauri even though his employment contract with TERI expires in 2017. It said the Governing Council had also decided to pay all the dues for the remainder of his tenure and bring an immediate end to it.
Pachauri, however, maintained that his term as a member of The Energy and Resources Institute's (TERI) Governing Council ended on March 31, 2016 and he felt 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".
When contacted for comments, a TERI spokesman did not confirm the contents of the media report, saying,"The Governing Council of TERI met on April 18, 2016. Several decisions were taken in the meeting. The minutes of the meeting are currently awaiting approval."
The report had quoted the spokesperson as saying: "Dr Pachauri's term as a Member of the Governing Council of TERI ended on March 31, 2016. As the post of Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) is co-terminus with this membership, his role as EVC also ended along with his membership of the Council."
Pachauri said he was issuing the statement "to provide the media with information" about his "stepping down" from TERI's Governing Council, suggesting the decision to call time on his association with the organisation was voluntary.
In his statement, Pachauri said the TERI staff was its "greatest treasure" which under the new Director General will take the Institute to much greater heights in the years ahead.
"I have had the good fortune of leading TERI for three decades and a half and have received the priceless contribution from thousands of colleagues over the years in building up this Institute to level of an outstanding organisation.
"I began with TERI as the articulation of my dream and humanity's call for a major intellectual resource, which has now grown to a size and spread straddling the whole world, with a staff strength of around 1200 professionals and world class infrastructure and expertise," he said.
(Feature image source: Reuters)