Unwelcome conduct of sexual nature: SC indicts A K Ganguly
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An inquiry by the Supreme Court into the sexual harassment allegations against Justice A K Ganguly has held the retired judge prima facie guilty of "unwelcome behaviour" and "unwelcome conduct of sexual nature" with the young lawyer who was interning with him in December 2012.
Despite the indictment by the three-judge panel, however, the Supreme Court has said that "no further follow up action is required by this Court", since the intern was not on the rolls of the court, and because Justice Ganguly had retired before the date of the alleged incident, December 24, 2012.
In his first reaction in Kolkata, Ganguly, who is now chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, appeared to not believe the reports of his indictment.
"It is not true. It cannot happen. I will not say anything on this until I receive the written copy of the findings," Ganguly said over the phone.
The retired judge, who faces mounting pressure to resign his post, went on two days' leave on Thursday for "some personal need", ensuring he will stay away from work at least until Monday. He was refusing to meet reporters until late in the evening.
Ganguly had on Tuesday said he was "undecided" on leaving his post. On Wednesday, Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien blogged that it was "wholly incumbent upon Justice Ganguly to step down... as chair of the WBHRC".
In his administrative order, Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam said, "As decided by the Full Court in its meeting dated 5th December, 2013, it is made clear that the representations made against former Judges of this Court are not entertainable by the administration of the Supreme Court".
The court order can, however, mean a lifting of the tacit curb on the police against proceeding in the case. S N Singh, a former dean of Delhi University's Law Faculty, has approached the police with a complaint to lodge an FIR against Ganguly. The Supreme Court panel was then seized of the matter, but with that process now complete, the police might move ahead with its investigation.
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