Kolkata lawyers march to protest witch-hunt against Ganguly

Kolkata, Dec 18 : Over 100 Calcutta High Court advocates Wednesday took out a silent march here showing solidarity with ex-judge A.K. Ganguly amid a growing chorus for his removal as the West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman.

Led by former Kolkata mayor and lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, over 100 lawyers took out the silent march outside the court premises to protest against the countrywide demand for Ganguly's resignation.

Justice Ganguly, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a law intern, was indicted by a three-judge probe panel of the Supreme Court in the matter.

Observing that the apex court probe panel did not have any legal authority, Bhattacharya claimed the "witch-hunt" against Ganguly was a concerted effort by the anti-human rights lobby aggrieved by the recommendations of the Ganguly-led rights panel.

"There is much clamour for his resignation but surprisingly no legal proceedings have been initiated, no complaint or FIR has been filed," he said.

"This is a concerted effort to malign him by a lobby which has been aggrieved by the repeated recommendations made by him," said Bhattacharya after the march.

"If Ganguly is found guilty after due legal proceedings then his resignation is warranted, but punishing him without even the charges being proved is completely unacceptable," he added.

The lawyers also condemned Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising for publishing excerpts of the victim's affidavit which she submitted before the probe committee.

Lawyer and Congress leader Arunava Ghosh said Ganguly could be removed only through due constitutional procedure.

"Nobody should be punished without being given an opportunity to be heard and unfortunately people across the country are doing the same," said Ghosh.

The state's ruling Trinamool Congress has been at the forefront in seeking Ganguly's removal.

While its legislators have raised the issue in parliament, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written twice to President Pranab Mukherjee urging immediate action against the former judge.

--IANS (Posted on 18-12-2013)

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