Justice Ganguly's conduct is of sexual nature: SC panel

Justice Ganguly's conduct is of sexual nature: SC panel

 The three-judge committee of the Supreme Court has indicted Justice A K Ganguly of committing an "act of unwelcome behaviour" and "conduct of sexual nature" towards a woman law intern but dropped any further action since he was a retired judge on the day of the incident.

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam's statement that "no further follow up action is required by this Court" in view of the fact that Justice Ganguly had demitted office on the day of the incident Dec 24 last year raised questions on the next course of action in the case.

A two-page statement of the CJI giving the "operative portion" of the report said the Committee is of the considered view that the statement of (the intern) both written and oral, prima facie discloses an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature) by Mr. Justice (Retd.) A.K. Ganguly with her in the room in hotel Le Meridien on 24.12.2012 approximately between 8.00 P.M. and 10.30 P.M,".

Justice P Sathasivam disclosed the name of the intern but in keeping with the legal requirements and media policy followed in such cases, PTI is not mentioning her name in this news item.

The CJI's statement triggered immediate demands for filing of an FIR suo motu by the police in view of the "savage indictment" by the committee in the words of senior lawyer Pinaki Mishra.

"I am pleased with what the committee has done. I do believe police must register an FIR immediately," Additional Solicitor General Indra Jaisingh said in her reaction.
There were also demands that Justice Ganguly should immediately quit as West Bengal Human Rights Commission with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and TMC MP Saugata Roy taking the lead in the matter.

Justice Ganguly himself did not offer any comments saying he had not seen the Supreme Court report.

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, however, differed with those demanding suo motu filing of FIR by the police.  "We don't know the full report.  The girl is not under disability and if she does not support the prosecution, the police will look foolish."

The CJI said on account of the fact that a report appeared in the media on the alleged aberration that it was "Supreme Court Judge", the Committee was constituted and it has submitted its Report.

"As decided by the Full Court in its Meeting dated 5th December 2013, it is made clear that the representations made against former Judges of this Court are not entertainable by the administration of the Supreme Court," the CJI's statement said.

The Secretary General was directed to supply a copy of the Report of the committee to the intern and Justice Ganguly.

The committee comprising justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and Ranjana Prakash Desai was constituted by Sathasivam after media reports on November 12 that "a recently retired judge" misbehaved with a law intern.

Without naming the judge, she had written in a blog that when the country was discussing the December 16 rape incident in the capital, she had undergone a traumatic experience at the hands of a judge who made advances to her.

The CJI said that taking cognizance of the fact that such allegation against a Supreme Court Judge will have a direct bearing on the institution's reputation and credibility, he had on the same day appointed the three-member committee to ascertain the truth of the allegations.
The Committee, having scrutinized the statements of the intern, the affidavits of her three witnesses and Mr. Justice A.K. Ganguly, former Judge of this Court, submitted its Report on 28th November, 2013.

The intern had appeared before the committee last month followed by the judge.

Justice Ganguly, who is now the chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, has denied the allegation against him and said he has been shocked and shattered.
Ever since the controversy erupted there have been demands for action against him and that he should quit from his post.

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