Justice Ganguly meets Bengal governor

Kolkata, Jan 6 : Justice (retd) A.K. Ganguly, facing allegations of sexually assaulting a law intern, met Governor M.K. Narayanan Monday, triggering speculation that he handed over his resignation as head of the West Bengal human rights panel. However, there was no official confirmation.

Emerging from the meeting at the Raj Bhavan, the former Supreme Court judge refused to answer any query.

Since then, Ganguly has maintained silence on the issue. Sources at the Raj Bhavan and the West Bengal Human Rights Commission also denied any knowledge of the development.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking to restrain the government from proceeding against Ganguly, who has, however, claimed he had "nothing to do" with the public interest litigation.

"No comment, I have told you. I have no idea. I have nothing to do with it. I am no way connected with it. I have no idea," he said.

The union cabinet has already cleared the home ministry's proposal for a presidential reference to the Supreme Court for a probe into the allegations.

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

The intern has alleged that Ganguly sexually harassed her at a five-star hotel in Delhi in December 2012.

The judge has repeatedly denied the accusation and on Dec 23 wrote to Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, claiming that there was a "concerted effort" to "tarnish his image" for giving judgments against "powerful quarters".

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

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote twice to President Mukherjee for taking urgent necessary action, so as to remove Ganguly from the post of WBHRC chief at the earliest.

Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, a section of the legal fraternity, several women's organisations and civil rights groups have also spearheaded a nationwide clamour for his resignation.

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

--IANS (Posted on 06-01-2014)

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