Ganguly faces the heat after intern’s affidavit made public

| | Updated on: Dec 16, 2013

Excerpts of an affidavit by a law intern, who has accused former Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly of sexual harassment, have been made public in an unusual step by Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, triggering fresh demands for his resignation as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).

In her affidavit to a three-judge panel set up by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam to go into her allegation that Justice Ganguly had sexually harassed her in a hotel room on December 24 last year, the intern has described in detail his alleged behaviour when she had gone to assist him in his work.

Justice Ganguly, who has strongly denied the allegations and refused to step down as WBHRC chief, today raised questions on how a confidential statement can be made public.

“That is supposed to be confidential as it was given before a Supreme Court committee. How can it come out in the open? he told PTI in Kolkata when asked about Jaising going public with the intern’s affidavit.

“What can I do? Who is listening to me? he said on being asked whether he would file a complaint on the issue.

Jaising said that she had made the excerpts public with the “full support” of the intern and if Justice Ganguly refused to resign, then the process should be initiated for his removal by the President of India. She has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

The ASG said she would like to state “very unambiguously that whatever I am doing, I am doing with her (intern’s) complete cooperation and keeping her in the loop and I would never ever make a document like this public unless I had her full support“.

As pressure mounted on Justice Ganguly to resign, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said he was waiting to see when the apex court “rises to the occasion” to deal with the issue.

“Waiting to see when and how the Supreme Court rises to the occasion to deal with Justice Ganguly,” Sibal tweeted.

Later, talking to reporters outside Parliament House, Sibal hoped that the apex court would act on the issue as soon as possible.

“We have faith that Supreme Court will take the strictest possible action for women’s security whoever may be the person — be it the retired judge of Supreme Court or anybody else,” the Law Minister said.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said on the basis of the apex court panel’s report, there is reason to believe that an offence could have been committed.

Published on December 16, 2013

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