said to have handed in papers to governor
statesman news service
Kolkata, 6 January
Former Supreme Court judge Mr Justice A K Ganguly is said to have resigned today as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) in the wake of the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a law intern, though there has been no official confirmation.
Rumours of Mr Ganguly quitting the post were doing the rounds all evening after the former Supreme Court judge visited Raj Bhavan to meet Governor M K Narayanan.
There was no official word on what transpired during the meeting, but a highly-placed source at Raj Bhavan said Mr Justice Ganguly met the Governor one-on-one and handed over to Mr Narayanan a closed envelope.
“During the meeting only the two of them were in the room. The Governor did not share the contents of the envelope even with his secretary,” said the source, adding: “We shall have to wait till tomorrow to know if Justice Ganguly has actually resigned as the chairperson of WBHRC.”
PTI however, quoting other highly-placed sources, said Mr Justice Ganguly had indeed handed in his papers.
Mr Justice Ganguly, who has been under tremendous pressure to quit from his post in the wake of the charges of sexual harassment levelled by a woman law intern, met the Governor for about 45 minutes.
Mr Justice Ganguly could not be contacted to confirm or deny whether he had quit as the state human rights panel chief.
His meeting with the Governor took place shortly after the Supreme Court quashed a petition seeking a stay on the Centre&’s move to remove Mr Justice Ganguly as the chief of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
The PIL has also sought the quashing of the report in which a three-member panel of apex court judges indicted Justice Ganguly for “unwelcome behaviour” against the law intern, who has accused the judge of sexually harassing him in a Delhi hotel last year.
The Supreme Court also quashed a separate petition pleading for the registration of a case against the former judge.
A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Mr P Sathasivam, while quashing both petitions, said it cannot interfere in the issue at this stage and the “law will take its course in the matter”.
Mr Justice Ganguly has already resigned as a guest lecturer of the National University of Juridical Sciences, even though he continues to deny the allegations against him.
Last Thursday, the Union Cabinet had cleared a proposal to send a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court for a probe into the allegations levelled against Mr Justice Ganguly.
Mr Justice Ganguly has denied the allegations and blamed “powerful interests” of trying to tarnish
his image because of certain judgments delivered by him.
Mr Justice Ganguly is said to have spoken to former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee over telephone yesterday and told him he was contemplating resigning as WBHRC chairman.
Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, who has been strongly pitching for Mr Justice Ganguly&’s removal as the human rights panel chief, said this evening that it was “overdue”.