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RK Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment, allowed to travel abroad

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Rajenda Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presents a talk on minizing risk using an "investment strategy" to approach global warming

New Delhi: A court here on Saturday permitted environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused in a sexual harassment case, to visit the US from June 29 to July 9 for attending his brother-in-law’s funeral.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan allowed Pachauri’s plea, seeking to attend the last rites of his brother-in-law in the US.

In a plea moved by his counsel advocate Asish Dikshit, the environmentalist sought to visit the US.

He was granted anticipatory bail on March 21. But the sessions court had directed him not to leave the country without permission. He was also directed not to visit the premises of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Pachauri was questioned by Delhi Police on Wednesday and Friday.

A 29-year-old research associate working in Pachauri’s office filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him in south Delhi on February 13 after approaching TERI authorities on February 9.

Delhi Police later booked Pachauri on charges of molestation, stalking, sexual harassment and criminal intimidation as the complainant had claimed that she was harassed by him for nearly two years since she joined his office in September 2013.

She also alleged that Pachauri had engaged in “sexually-laden conversations” with her over e-mail and SMS.

Pachauri was forced to step down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February and proceeded on leave from TERI after the sexual harassment complaint but he has denied the allegations.

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Vaccination Not Forced on Children: Delhi Health Authorities

The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school

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Vaccination
Vaccination not forced on children: Delhi health authorities. Flickr

The measles and rubella (MR) vaccination programme, which was deferred following an intervention by the Delhi High Court, does not override the consent of students, said state’s health authorities for the campaign.

“It is totally wrong to say that vaccination was administered without consent. Though there has never been the process of seeking permission for any vaccination from guardians, people are free to refuse vaccination as we don’t force anyone,” Dr Suresh Seth, Delhi programme chief for immunisation told IANS on Wednesday.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday deferred implementation of the “Measles and Rubella (MR) Vaccine Immunisation Campaign”, saying that vaccination cannot be administered “forcibly” and without the consent of parents.

The court’s order came while hearing pleas by parents of some minor students at city’s schools alleging that the MR campaign is a “violation of the fundamental rights” of the students as their consent had not been taken.

China, Vaccines
A child receives a vaccination shot at a hospital in Rongan in China’s southern Guangxi region on July 23, 2018. VOA

“We will comply with court’s orders. Our preparations are same and will start the very next day the high court gives clearance for the campaign,” Dr Seth said.

The Delhi Health Department will also share inputs with the Health and Welfare Family Ministry, which has been asked by the high court to respond by January 21.

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The measles and rubella vaccination campaign was scheduled to begin in the national capital from January 15, aiming at immunising nearly 55 lakh children in the age group of 9 months up to 15 years across 11 districts of Delhi.

The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school. (IANS)