Kolkata, Jan 7 IBNS | 2 years ago

Former Supreme Court judge Justice AK Ganguly, who has resigned as the chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission following sexual harassment charges, on Tuesday said he resigned to obviate any further controversy.

In his resignation letter to West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan dated Jan 6, Ganguly said that the allegations which are appearing against him in the media both electronic and print are "unfounded and baseless."

"I would like to affirmatively say that allegations which are appearing against me in the media, both electronic and print, are unfounded and baseless and I deny the same," his letter said to the Governor said.

He also said that the grounds on which the Centre made a recommendation against him to the President were "untenable" and "misconceived".

"The purported recommendation to the Hon'ble President for my removal, are based on grounds, which, in my opinion, are untenable and misconceived," Ganguly said.

"However, to obviate any further controversy and to ensure peace and happiness of the members of my family and having regard to the fact that I held the high office of a judge and presently holding the post of Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission and being humbly of the view that I have possibly lived up to the expectation of both, I have decided to resign from the post of Chairman of the Commission with immediate effect," read the letter.

He also said that he has no attachment to any post unless he can work with dignity and honour , adding that, "I understand that it is not possible under the present situation."

Though the news of his resignation was not officially confirmed since Monday night, sources confirmed on Tuesday that his resignation has been accepted by the West Bengal governor and forwarded to the Chief Secretary.

"He should have resigned much earlier. This is a delayed decision," Trinamool Congress lawmaker Kalyan Bandopadhyay said.

On Monday Justice Ganguly met West Bengal governor M K Narayanan at Raj Bhawan here and following the meeting media reports said that he has tendered his resignation as the West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairperson.

Last week Justice Ganguly had resigned from his position as a guest faculty in the National University of Judicial Sciences (NUJS) in Kolkata.

"I voluntarily opt out, don't want to continue as a member of the guest facility and be a burden on NUJS," wrote Justice Ganguly in his letter though NUJS said since the charges of harassing the law intern came up he had ceased to be a part of the university framework.

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had quashed two Public-Interest Litigations (PILs) against Ganguly.

The Union Home Minister ealier said a note to remove Justice Ganguly as West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairperson, has been readied.

The Union Cabinet has reportedly cleared the note.

A formal advice was scheduled to be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee to remove Justice Ganguly.

Law intern Stella James, who alleged that she was sexually harassed by Justice Ganguly, had earlier slammed him for claiming innocence.

In a statement posted on Journal of Indian Law and Society, Stella said: "I would like to state that I have acted with utmost responsibility throughout, keeping in mind the seriousness of this situation.

"Those who have been spreading rumours and politicizing the issue, are doing so out of prejudice and malice to obfuscate the issue and escape scrutiny and accountability."

Justice Ganguly had written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam on the issue.

According to reports, Justice Ganguly had complained that his side of the story is not being heard. He also protested against Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising making public the statement of the law intern.

(Posted on 07-01-2014)