The ICC announced the charge, under Level 3 of the International Cricket Council's code of conduct, in a statement which followed on from a release from the England and Wales Cricket Board. The ECB made it clear Anderson "categorically denies the accusations against him", and that in response it intends to lodge its own charge against Jadeja. A Level 3 charge, if proven, can result in a ban for up to four Test matches.
The ECB has also described the incident, during the first Investec Test at Trent Bridge, as "minor", but if the ICC deems it appropriate a disciplinary hearing will be held before a judicial commissioner "as soon as reasonably practicable".
It is understood that Anderson is in little danger of being ruled out of the second Test at Lord's this week - or probably the third in Southampton - because any hearing is unlikely to take place in that timescale.
The statement from ECB read: "The England and Wales Cricket Board has today reacted with surprise that the India team has made allegations against James Anderson under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for a minor incident involving Ravindra Jadeja during the first Investec Test match at Trent Bridge. In the light of this, the ECB has notified the ICC of its intention to lodge code of conduct breaches against Jadeja.
"James Anderson categorically denies the accusations made against him, and the ECB have pledged their total support for the player should he be charged by ICC."
The incident allegedly took place as the players made their way off the pitch for lunch on day two of the drawn Test. At that point, Jadeja and his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were involved in a sixth-wicket stand.
The ICC's code of conduct spells out the possible transgressions covered by a Level 3 breach.
They include "threat of assault on another player" and conduct deemed "contrary to the spirit of the game ... or (which) brings the game into disrepute". The allegation was made to ICC by India team manager Sunil Dev. The ICC release adds that the charge relates to Anderson "allegedly abusing and pushing Ravindra Jadeja immediately after they left the field for lunch on Thursday".
It adds: "It is alleged that this was a continuation of a verbal altercation between Anderson and Jadeja as they were walking from the field."