Zee Media Bureau
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking urgent appropriate action against former Supreme Court judge Asok Kumar Ganguly, accused of sexually harassing a law intern.
"Today (Thursday), I have addressed a letter to the President of India for taking appropriate action urgently for the grave misconduct committed by retired Justice AK Ganguly. Strong action is essential at this moment to enable people to repose trust and faith to the sanctity of the high office he holds," Banerjee said.
Mamata’s reaction comes after BJP today demanded Justice Ganguly step down as head of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, after an apex court panel inquiring charges of sexual harassment indicted him prima facie of "unwelcome behaviour".
Trinamool Congress from the beginning has been demanding resignation of the former SC judge as head of the state human rights commission.
Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee today said Ganguly should step down as the West Bengal Human Rights Commission chair but also urged police to initiate action against him.
"We have carefully scrutinised the statement (written as well as oral) of (the intern), the affidavits of her three witnesses and the statement of Mr Justice (Retd) AK Ganguly. It appears to the Committee that in the evening on 24.12.2012, she had visited hotel Le Meridien where Mr Justice (Retd) AK Ganguly was staying to assist him in his work. This fact is not denied by Mr Justice (Retd) AK Ganguly in his statement.
"Further, the Committee is of the considered view that the statement of (the intern) both written and oral, prima facie discloses an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature) by Mr Justice (Retd) AK Ganguly with her in the room in hotel Le Meridien on 24.12.2012 approximately between 8.00 PM And 10.30 PM," said the operative portion from the report.
“No further follow up action by SC is required on account of Justice Ganguly`s superannuation on the date of the incident,” Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam remarked.
The three-member committee of sitting judges of the Supreme Court, which probed the charges of sexual harassment, held that the "statement of (victim) both written and oral, prima facie discloses an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature) by Justice (retd.) AK Ganguly with her in the room in hotel Le Meridien". The incident took place Dec 24, 2012."
Ever since the sexual harassment accusations against Ganguly became public, the Trinamool Congress has been demanding his resignation from the state human rights panel.