MHA readies Cabinet note to remove Ganguly from WBHRC

Justice AK GangulyAfter the Cabinet approves the proposal, a formal advice will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, who had in the first place referred the matter to the government following a letter from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. IE

The home ministry has moved a Cabinet note to make a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court in the Justice A K Ganguly sexual misconduct case, setting into motion the process to remove the former Supreme Court judge from the post of West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman.

The MHA, it is reliably learnt, armed with the legal opinion of Attorney General G E Vahanvati, sent its proposal Friday in time to ensure that it gets considered in this week's Cabinet meeting. Vahanvati had favoured action against Ganguly.

After the Cabinet approves the proposal, a formal advice will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, who had in the first place referred the matter to the government following a letter from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee had demanded action against Ganguly in the backdrop of allegations of sexual misconduct against him as well as for going on foreign trips and taking arbitration assignments without approval.

The MHA had asked the AG whether action could be taken against Ganguly and received his opinion last week.

The government's decision will enable the President make a reference to the Chief Justice of India to inquire into the matter and make a recommendation as per the procedures set out in the Protection of Human Rights Act. Based on this advice, the President can take a final decision.

In this case, the allegation of a lawyer that Ganguly sexually harassed her while she interned with him last year has already been assessed by a panel of SC judges that found merit in the complaint but did not take any action.

While the lawyer is yet to file a police complaint, the contents of her affidavit were made public through The Indian Express by Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising.

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