Resigned to obviate further controversy: Justice Ganguly

Resigned to obviate further controversy: Justice Ganguly

 Justice A K Ganguly today said he resigned as chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) "to obviate any further controversy" while holding that the grounds on which Centre recommended his removal to the President are "untenable" and "misconceived".

Justice Ganguly's resignation, handed over by him to West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan on Monday, has been accepted, highly-placed sources said today.

The former Supreme Court judge had been under pressure to quit as WBHRC chief in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct levelled by a law intern.

In his resignation letter, 66-year-old Justice Ganguly rebutted the allegations against him.

"I would like to affirmatively say that allegations which are appearing against me in the media both electronic and print are unfounded and baseless and I deny the same," he said.

Justice Ganguly's decision to quit came close on the heels of the Union Cabinet on Thursday last approving a proposal for sending a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court on the issue, which was seen as a step towards his removal as WBHRC chairman.

"The purported recommendation to the Hon'ble President for my removal, are based on grounds, which, in my opinion, are untenable and misconceived," Ganguly said in the letter, which he read out to PTI over phone.

"However, to obviate any further controversy and to ensure peace and happiness of the members of my family and having regard to the fact that I headed the high office of a judge and presently holding the post of chairman of WBHRC and being humbly of the view that I have lived up to the expectation of both, I have decided to resign from the post of chairman of the Commission with immediate effect," the former Supreme Court judge said in his letter dated January six.

Ever since the scandal broke in November, the former apex court judge had refused to step down even after a three-judge committee of the Supreme Court had indicted him.

The panel had held that the statement of the intern, both written and oral, had prima facie disclosed "an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature)" by the judge with her in the Le Meridien hotel room in Delhi on December 24, 2012.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had written twice to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking urgent action against the retired judge.

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