Narayanan accepts Ganguly's resignation as rights panel chief

Kolkata, Jan 7 : Governor M.K. Narayanan has accepted the resignation of Justice (retd.) A.K. Ganguly from the post of West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman, the state government said Tuesday.

Bowing to growing pressure following allegations of sexual assault levelled by a law intern against him, Ganguly Monday stepped down from the post. He drove down to the Raj Bhawan and handed his resignation to Narayanan.

"The principal secretary to the governor of West Bengal has informed the additional chief secretary, home department, that Ganguly has submitted a letter dated Jan 6, conveying his resignation from the post of West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman," said an officialrelease.

"The honourable governor has accorded his resignation from the post with immediate effect," it said.

A government spokesperson said Naparajit Mukherjee, a member of the panel would discharge the duties of the chairman till a new head was selected.

Ganguly's resignation came hours after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking to restrain the government from proceeding against Ganguly. The former apex court judge, however, claimed he had "nothing to do" with the Public Interest Litigation.

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

The proposal was being sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, for him to forward to the chief justice of India seeking a probe into the issue.

But Ganguly's resignation from the human rights panel has rendered the reference infructuous, l1egal sources said.

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

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

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

--IANS (Posted on 07-01-2014)

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