Home / Politics / Policy /  Delhi court seeks reply over defamation case by R.K. Pachauri

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday sought a reply from prominent advocate and activist Vrinda Grover regarding a defamation case against her by former Teri chief R.K. Pachauri seeking damages worth 1 crore.

Pachauri, who is currently facing charges of sexual harassment in a Delhi court has alleged that she was trying to prejudice the ongoing investigation against him.

Opposing the maintainability of the suit, the counsel for Grover told the court that it was in violation of the principal/agency confidentiality as she was representing two of the complainants who have alleged sexual harassment against Pachauri.

Ashish Dixit, counsel for Pachauri, refuted the claim before additional district judge Vineeta Goyal by saying that she was not representing any of the complainants as there was no formal complaint and their identity was not even known to the police.

“She refused to accept notice on 7 April when it was delivered at her Saket office and five days later made defamatory and unsubstantiated statements against Pachauri to the media. This is not in accordance with the conduct of court proceedings and was done to create a negative perception of him." he added.

On 5 April, Pachauri filed a defamation suit against Grover, seeking 1 crore as damages alleging that she was trying to prejudice the pending sexual harassment case against him.

This was in response to two statements released by Grover of her clients who have alleged that they have been sexually harassed by the former Teri chief.

A formal complaint with the police or a court of law has not been filed by any of the two complainants. However, the police has filed a chargesheet against him based on a complaint alleging harassment by a former woman colleague.

A total of three woman have spoken out against claims of harassment by Pachauri. The last complainant, a foreign national who had worked in 2008 as his principal secretary decided to speak up against his actions following an article by The Guardian on 26 March in which he has claimed innocence.

The defamation suit has attracted wide criticism from women activists, academicians across the country who in a public statement have said that the attack on Grover is a matter of concern for all those who were committed to the cause of delivering substantive justice under the laws of sexual harassment.

The case will be heard next on 6 May.

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