Researcher quits after sex claims against ex-UN climate chief Rajendra Pachauri

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A researcher who accused former United Nations climate panel chief Rajendra Pachauri of sexual harassment has quit her job at the think-tank he formerly headed, alleging that it had treated her "in the worst possible manner", reports said on Wednesday (Nov 4).

The 29-year-old woman in February accused Mr Pachauri, 75, of repeated sexual harassment soon after she joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) based in the Indian capital New Delhi.

"Your organisation has treated me in the worst possible manner. TERI failed to uphold my interests as an employee, let alone protecting them," the woman said in her resignation letter to TERI, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

TERI "let me down in an unprecedented way" by protecting Mr Pachauri instead of the victim, despite the think-tank's own internal inquiry finding him guilty of misconduct, she wrote.

"You also created a hostile environment for me which has only escalated and showed no signs of subsiding whatsoever," she added.

Mr 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 after his colleague filed her complaint.

He was also ousted from his post as head of TERI in July after a backlash over his return to work while facing the allegations.

The researcher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, accused him of constantly harassing her through inappropriate e-mails, text and WhatsApp messages.

He has denied the allegations and said his e-mail and mobile phone were hacked.

No formal charges have so far been brought against him although a Delhi police investigation is continuing.