New Delhi: Former TERI Chief and environmentalist Dr. RK Pachauri passed away on Thursday. He was 79. Also Read - Delhi court frames molestation charges against R K Pachauri

According to reports, he was on life support and was battling with a prolonged cardiac ailment. Also Read - Delhi court orders framing of charges against former TERI chief R K Pachauri

Pachauri had also undergone an open heart surgery at the Escorts Heart Institute. Also Read - Court refuses to restrain media from reporting sexual assault case against R K Pachauri

“Pachauri, who has been a leading voice on climate change and environment, passed away peacefully in New Delhi at his residence on the evening of 13th February 2020,” the family said in a statement.

“His courageous leadership allowed climate change to be recognized world over as the most pressing issue confronting the world and launched a new era of international deliberations and actions,” it said.

“He was suffering from cardiac issues. He had an open heart surgery but was put on a ventilator,” a source told news agency PTI.

Pachauri had to step down from his position in The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) after he was accused of sexually harassing a former woman colleague.

A district court had in October 2018 framed molestation charges against Pachauri, who had repeatedly denied the allegations levelled against him.

During the court hearings, Pachauri had sought a speedy trial saying he and his family were suffering from hardship since 2015, when an FIR was lodged in the matter.

After the FIR was registered in February 2015, Pachauri was given anticipatory bail the next month.

(With agency inputs)