Centre seeks WB view on law intern episode

Centre seeks WB view on law intern episode

Even as the law intern hinted at lodging a police complaint against Justice A K Ganguly, the Centre has sought the West Bengal government’s opinion on removal of the retired Supreme Court judge from the chair of the state Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).

According to sources in the state administration, the Centre’s note, along with comments from Attorney General G E Vahanvati, sought to know from the state government whether it was okay with the removal of the WBHRC chairman.

A senior official, however, said the matter was just a formality as the Trinamool Congress-led government had already made its thoughts clear.

“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already expressed her thoughts on the issue. She has even written twice to President Pranab Mukherjee, asking him to take stringent action against Justice Ganguly since he’s faced with charges of sexual harassment. The state’s observation will be just a formality,” the official said. There was, however, no official comment from anyone in the government.
Sources further said Vahanvati’s notes were in sync with the chief minister’s views. The state government would send its observations along with a formal reply, recommending that the retired judge be removed from office with immediate effect. “The ball was set rolling by the chief minister and now it will come to an end when Justice Ganguly is removed from office,” an official said.

While an apex court-appointed committee found Justice Ganguly guilty of sexually harassing a law intern, Banerjee recently urged the President to remove Ganguly from the WBHRC on three counts: Sexual misconduct, a visit to Pakistan without prior clearance from the state government and accepting an assignment from the All India Football Federation despite occupying a public office as the WBHRC chairman.

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