Kolkata, Jan 3 IANS | 2 years ago

Justice (retd) A.K. Ganguly, facing allegations of sexually assaulting a law intern, Friday resigned as guest faculty of the National University of Juridical Sciences here, a day after the institution said it has dissociated itself from the former Supreme Court judge.

In a letter to NUJS Vice Chancellor P. Ishwara Bhat, Ganguly denied the intern's allegations but announced his decision to "voluntarily opt out" following reservations expressed by some faculty members about his continuing as a guest faculty.

"I strongly deny the allegation of sexual harassment made by her (law intern) against me. However, since some of the members of the faculty expressed their reservations about my continuance with NUJS as a member of the guest faculty, I voluntarily opt out of that position and do not want to continue as a member of the guest faculty and be a burden on NUJS," Ganguly said in his letter.

The former judge said he bore no ill feelings towards the intern, and denied having called her a pawn in a political game.

"I have never said the female intern who made some allegations against me is a pawn in a political game. I have no ill feeling towards her and I wish her well in life," he said.

The NUJS Thursday said it has dissociated itself from Ganguly since the allegation came up.

"Since the matter came up, he has not been part of the university framework," an NUJS spokesperson said.

Faculty members had last month asked the university to sever relations with Ganguly.

Ganguly, currently chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, also suffered a big setback Thursday as the union cabinet cleared the home ministry's proposal for a presidential reference to the Supreme Court for a probe into the allegations.

The proposal will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, who will then forward the matter to the chief justice of India, seeking a probe into the issue.

A three-member SC panel probing the allegations had earlier indicted Ganguly of "unwelcome behaviour".

There has been a nationwide clamour for Ganguly to step down as head of the rights panel, but the retired judge has steadfastly refused.

In a letter to Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, he alleged that there was a palpable design to malign him because of the judgments he had given against "powerful quarters".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress have been demanding that Ganguly quit the post. Several legal luminaries, including Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh, have lent voice to the demand.

However, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee has stood by the former judge.

(Posted on 03-01-2014)