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Intern sexual harassment: Panel submits report

New Delhi, Nov 29 : Present West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly has been identified as the former Supreme Court judge against whom a law intern has brought sexual harassment charge, according to media reports following the submission of a probe panel's report to the Chief Justice of India (CJI).


The statement of Justice AK Ganguly has been recorded by a panel set up by the Supreme Court to probe the allegation after the law intern wrote about it in a blog post.

The three member judges' panel of the Supreme Court investigated the charges of the woman and submitted their report to the CJI.

The panel was set up by the Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam.

"We cannot take it lightly. As the head of the institution, I am also concerned about the allegation and anxious whether the statement is true or not," CJI Sathasivam said while setting up the panel after the allegation.

Justice Dattu, Justice Desai and Justice Lodha are on the panel.

Stella James, who is a Fellow at Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment, blogged: "In Delhi at that time (during protests against the brutal Dec 16 gangrape), interning during the winter vacations of my final year in University, I dodged police barricades and fatigue to go to the assistance of a highly reputed, recently retired Supreme Court judge whom I was working under during my penultimate semester.

"For my supposed diligence, I was rewarded with sexual assault (not physically injurious, but nevertheless violating) from a man old enough to be my grandfather."

"I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that long after I'd left the room, the memory remained, in fact, still remains, with me," she wrote in her blog for Journal of Indian Law and Society.

She said the incident affected her deeply.

"As a conditioned member of the society, I had quickly 'gotten over' the incident. But was that what worried me: that I had accepted what was essentially an 'unacceptable' situation," said Stella.

"While the incident affected me deeply, I felt little anger and almost no rancour towards the man; instead I was shocked and hurt that someone I respected so much would do something like this. My strongest reaction really, was overwhelming sadness," she said.

However, speaking to Mail Today earlier, Justice Ganguly said earlier: "I do not want to make any comments at this juncture. But this allegation is coming after almost a year and that too through a blog. A committee has been formed by the Supreme Court and it will take a decision after recording the girl's statement."

--IBNS (Posted on 29-11-2013)

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