New Delhi: BJP leader Arun Jaitley said Friday that the Supreme Court cannot escape from its judicial responsibility by finding an "escapist route" by ruling out action in the case of "unwelcome behaviour" by retired Justice AK Ganguly with a woman intern.
In an article, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said the standard that the Supreme Court has set for tackling any wrongdoing by people in high office should apply "even more sternly to a sitting or former judge of the court".
"Nobody should harass a lady. Certainly not holders of high judicial offices. If they act in a conduct unbecoming of the office that they hold, the dignity of the institution and the popular faith in the judgments of the judicial institutions gets eroded," said leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
He said "it is now incumbent on the Supreme Court of India to ensure that the law must take its own course. `Be you ever so high, as the law is above you`, the Supreme Court has repeatedly told us. It must apply the same yardstick to itself."
"If it has found a former judge of the Supreme Court prima facie committed an offence, it cannot follow an escapist route and hold that on the administrative side it has no jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is fully empowered on the judicial side to ensure that the law takes its own course. It cannot escape from its judicial responsibility."
"It must place the case before a bench of the court on the judicial side which must monitor the investigations in order to ensure justice and fairness. Justice Ganguly must face the investigations as an ordinary citizen stepping down from the office he holds," said Jaitley.
A three-member panel indicted former judge AK Ganguly for "unwelcome behaviour" with a law intern in a hotel room here in December last year. A full bench of the Supreme Court after considering the report ruled out any action from the Supreme Court administration in the incident, saying neither was Justice Ganguly nor was the woman intern was working with the Supreme Court when the incident occurred.