Delhi HC issues notice to RK Pachauri in Vrinda Grover’s plea to defer trial

Delhi HC issues notice to RK Pachauri in Vrinda Grover’s plea to defer trial

Ashutosh Gambhir

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to former TERI Chief RK Pachauri in an application filed by advocate Vrinda Grover to defer the trial in the defamation case filed against her by Pachauri in the Patiala House Court.

Grover filed the plea against the trial court order, which directed that the hearing should take place during the summer vacation.

In her plea, she has said that the trial court has listed the matter for recording of evidence between June 19 and June 30, despite her unavailability.

Appearing for Grover, Advocate Anupam Srivastav submitted that the defendant-applicant is not in town and that the matter should be heard after the vacation. He said,

“We are not shying away from the trial… We just want that the trial should commence in July.”

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur, while refusing to grant any stay, directed Grover to approach the local commissioner in the matter. The Court also asked whether Grover has any problem with the evidence collected by the local commissioner. It was answered in the negative by her counsel.

RK Pachauri had slapped a civil defamation suit against Grover and one other woman, seeking and injunction and Rs.1 crore in damages, alleging that she was trying to prejudice the ongoing sexual harassment case against him. It was submitted that defamatory statements were made against him outside the court room to the media in connection with the case.

Grover had made public the statements of her two clients, who were allegedly sexually harassed by the former TERI chief.

Pachauri had also made three media houses and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry parties to this suit filed before the Patiala House Court. He had sought a permanent injunction against any reporting on statements of the two women who came forward subsequent to the original complaint against him.

He has been charged with sexual harassment of a woman researcher, who used to work directly under him at TERI.

In February 2015, the First Information Report was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under sections 354, 354 (a), 354 (d) and 506 of the IPC at Lodhi Colony Police Station after the woman submitted a 33-page complaint in this regard to the police.

Image taken from here.

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