TMC welcomes Ganguly resignation, Somnath 'hurt'

Justice A K Ganguly's resignation from the post of chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission evoked mixed reactions Tuesday with the ruling Trinamool Congress in state welcoming it saying "it was long overdue" even as former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said he felt hurt that the retired Supreme Court judge had to quit without proof or investigation.

"He had to resign without any proof or investigation in the case. In our legal system till the time a person is proved to be guilty he is held innocent, but in this case he was not given proper hearing," Chatterjee said, adding that he was hurt by the developments leading to Justice Ganguly, accused of sexually harassing a law intern, stepping down from the rights panel post.

Stating that the rulebook was not followed in the case, he said "The Supreme Court's investigation was unconstitutional and they have themselves admitted that they had no authority to do anything."

The Trinamool Congress, however, welcomed, the retired judge's resignation.

Trinamool Congress MP and lawyer Kalyan Banerjee said by resigning Justice Ganguly had saved his prestige from being damaged further.

"We are happy with the decision. He should have done this earlier, but nevertheless we welcome it as he had no moral right to continue in the post after the allegations," the MP said.

Eminent lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, however, described the resignation as unfortunate saying the core issue of sexual harassment was sidelined.

"He was under tremendous pressure to resign and now the focus has shifted away from the incident. Whatever is the truth should be investigated," he said.

Claiming that the resignation was a moral victory, Joydeep Mukherjee, secretary of the All India Legal Aid Forum, said "But our battle is far from over. We have always demanded that he should be arrested and an FIR be lodged in the case as the Supreme Court committee has already found him guilty. The Delhi Police should now register an suo moto FIR and arrest him immediately," he said.

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