SC to rule on protection for Justice Ganguly

The Supreme Court is to take up on Monday a PIL urging it to restrain the Centre from making any attempt to remove former Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly as Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) in view of allegation of sexually harassment by a law intern.

A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi would on January 6 hold hearing on the petition filed by Delhi resident Dr M Padma Narayan Singh, who would herself argue the case.

According to the petitioner, Ganguly became a victim of conspiracy as he, as an arbitrator, had decided a matter between Mohun Bagan, a prominent football club of Kolkata and All India Football Federation (AIFF) in which the intern had also participated. To buttress her arguments, she referred to a letter by Mohun Bagan MD to AIFF president seeking review of the judgment delivered by Justice Ganguly.

The woman petitioner sought direction to drop any proceedings which could be initiated against Justice Ganguly and protection from his probable arrest.

She named Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising as one of the respondents in the petition, accusing her of working relentlessly to get Justice Ganguly arrested unlawfully.
The petitioner also criticised the manner in which politicians across the party lines, media and others demanded removal of Ganguly as WBHRC Chairman. She claimed that Ganguly’s alleged act did not fall under sexual harassment since the limitation period for raising complaint under the Sexual Harassment Act 2013 was only three months. The intern had claimed the incident had happened in December 2012 at a hotel here.

After disclosure of the charge, a three-judge panel of the apex court had conducted an inquiry and indicted Justice Ganguly of “act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature)”. Subsequently, the Centre had sent a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry into the allegations against him.

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