Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, said on Monday that former Supreme Court judge, Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly should quit as WBHRC chairman in order to protect the dignity of his office.
In an article on the BJP`s official site, Jaitley wrote – "Since this involves a former judge of the Supreme Court, who is presently the chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) – a person in a high position, Justice Ganguly, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion."
"Today, he is suspected to have committed an unacceptable offence. Justice Ganguly’s insistence on continuing in office raises a few questions. Firstly, if it were a case of a prominent politician rather than a former judge, would the judicial institutions have completely washed their hands off or would they have monitored the investigations? The fact that a former judge of the highest court is involved demands that the standards of judicial scrutiny will have to be higher than the normal." he added.
He further wrote, "Secondly, in the face of this serious allegation, can Justice Ganguly at all discharge his functions as the Chairman of WBHRC? Thirdly, would it not be fair and proper that the former Judge contests this allegation as an ordinary citizen rather than a high functionary. If he were to relinquish his office, he would only be protecting the dignity of the office that he occupies. "
AK Ganguly is accused of sexually harassing a law intern. Today, Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising made excerpts from the law intern`s affidavit public which reveals details of her version given before a Supreme Court committee.
The girl, who has passed out from a Kolkata law school, had in a sworn affidavit before a three-judge panel of apex court judges gave a detailed account of what happened to her in a Delhi hotel room on 24 December, 2012 when she was called by the judge at night.
The committee had indicted the former judge for `unwelcome behaviour` and `conduct of sexual nature` towards the girl who was then working as a law intern with him. Ganguly has so far denied all the allegations against him and ruled out resigning as the head of the WBHRC.
Ganguly also questioned as to how could a confidential statement be made public.
Meanwhile, Jaising has written to PM Manmohan Singh seeking his removal from the WBHRC post. Several women rights activists, political leaders from the BJP and Trinamool Congress have also been vocal demanding his removal.
With PTI inputs