Pressure on Ganguly, President sends Mamata's complaint to Centre

GangulyWBHRC chairman Justice (retd) A K Ganguly in Kolkata on Tuesday. Partha Paul

The home ministry is expected to soon advise President Pranab Mukherjee on the action that can be taken against retired Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly amid fresh pressure on him to quit as West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman after the affidavit of a woman lawyer who has accused Ganguly of sexual harassment became public.

Government sources said "a proper recommendation will be sent to the President soon" as Mukherjee is "seized of the matter" after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to him seeking action against Ganguly.

Mukherjee is learnt to have forwarded Banerjee's letter to the MHA for appropriate action. His press secretary Venu Rajamony said the issue was now "with the MHA" as the letter had been forwarded to the ministry.

The pressure on Ganguly spiked after Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising wrote in The Indian Express Monday about the case and also included excerpts of the affidavit filed by the lawyer about the alleged incident which took place when she was an intern last December.

Leading the demand for the former judge's resignation was Law Minister Kapil Sibal, who asked Ganguly to resign on his own "rather than suffer the ignominy of an inquiry by the Supreme Court".

While Ganguly remained adamant and asked how the confidential affidavit had become public, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said the case would be examined afresh.

"The issue is being examined in the light of today's Indian Express report. Appropriate legal action will be taken after necessary examination," Bassi said. The Delhi Police has been waiting for the lawyer to respond to their request to record her statement to be able to proceed in the case.

Responding to Ganguly's question about how the affidavit had become public, Jaising said she had made the excerpts public with the "full support" of the intern.

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