Ganguly seeks time to reply to NCW

Kolkata, Dec 17 : Former Supreme Court judge A.K. Ganguly Tuesday sought four weeks time for replying to the National Commission for Women (NCW) which has taken cognizance of sexual harassment of a law intern.

Political leaders across India have asked Ganguly to resign as chief of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

"The NCW has sought my reply in the matter and I have asked for four weeks time to prepare my response," Ganguly told IANS Tuesday.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the allegation of sexual harassment against him, the NCW Dec 6 had sent a notice asking Ganguly to explain his position after a Supreme Court panel indicted him.

Meanwhile, Ganguly who has remained defiant despite the growing chorus for his resignation, has ordered a probe into a matter pertaining to outraging the modesty of a woman.

Taking suo motu cognizance of molestation of three girl students of a school in Howrah district, the commission ordered police to initiate a probe and submit the report to the commission within four weeks.

"Considering the seriousness of the incident, the commission headed by Justice Ganguly has ordered the Howrah superintendent of police (rural) to order a probe to be conducted by a senior officer and submit a report within four weeks," said commission registrar Rabindranath Samanta.

Meanwhile, the former judge found support in former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and others who said that asking for Ganguly's resignation before the charges were proved was unacceptable.

"I am not saying he is not guilty and should be protected, I have never said that. What I am saying is unless and until the charges are proved you cannot go on harassing, asking for his head," said Chatterjee.

Echoing similar views, former city mayor and lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said: "There are accusations which warrant probe, but even before those accusations and allegations are proved, the way Ganguly's resignation is being demanded, is not acceptable."

"The post being a constitutional one, only the president of India has the right to decide whether Ganguly should resign. The way people are clamouring for his head is not legal," said retired Calcutta High Court judge Bhagawati Prasad Banerjee.

--IANS (Posted on 17-12-2013)

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