Palpable design to malign me, Ganguly tells CJI

Kolkata, Dec 23 : Claiming there was a "palpable design" to malign him at the instance of "interested quarters", retired Supreme Court judge A.K. Ganguly Monday wrote to Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam raising several questions about the apex court panel's report which indicted him of "unwelcome behaviour" towards a law intern.

"After deep consideration of all that is going on in the media with reference to some allegations of an intern about me, I am constrained to break my silence. I wish to make it clear that I never harassed nor did I make any unwelcome advances to any female intern," Ganguly said in the letter, a copy of which he has also forwarded to President Pranab Mukherjee.

From questioning the procedures followed by the probe committee to being treated "like a person in captivity", Ganguly raised several issues including about its jurisdiction.

Claiming that he was denied a copy of the intern's affidavit containing her statement but the same was later leaked to a media, Ganguly alleged it to be a "palpable design" to malign him and demanded an urgent enquiry.

"I was told that the intern had made a statement with certain annexure. I politely asked for a copy. I was told curtly that the proceedings being confidential, I will not be given a copy. There was a compulsive tone to it.

"I was shocked to find that the substantial portion of the intern's statement was leaked out verbatim to a Bengali newspaper. I am left to wonder," said Ganguly.

"The newspaper says that it got the materials from the law ministry. I therefore demand an urgent enquiry to find out at whose instance it was leaked out. I see in the whole game a palpable design to malign me at the instance of interested quarters," said the former judge.

Stating that no complaint was filed either before the apex court or before the CJI by the intern, Ganguly contended that "a newspaper report (Nov 12), without any verification, could certainly not have been the basis of a petition by attorney general, on which your lordship is reported to have acted".

"Thus the stated reasons that the committee was set up to find out whether the judge was a sitting judge cannot be accepted because the blog expressly disclosed a retired judge," said Ganguly referring to the intern describing about her alleged ordeal on a blog.

Appearing in "good faith and without questioning its authority", he said the conduct of court officials and the proceedings before the probe committee "were far from appropriate".

"I was treated almost like a person in captivity. Has this been done under your Lordship's direction? I hope not," wrote the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) chairperson in the letter, a copy of which is in possession of IANS.

"The events clearly seem to suggest that there is a concerted move to tarnish my image as I had the unfortunate duty of rendering certain judgments against powerful interests. Despite odds, I judged without fear and favour.

"If that triggers a collateral attack on me then it poses a threat to the independence of the judiciary," said Ganguly who had given a verdict in the case concerning allocation of the 2G spectrum.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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