Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: In a major embarrassment for former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, the Central government on Thursday cleared the proposal for Presidential reference for his removal as head of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) in connection with sexual harassment allegations made against him by a law intern.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Union Finance Minister P Chidamabarm said, “The proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been approved but nothing to report on that right now.”
After the Union Cabinet nod, the Centre will now sent a formal proposal to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his consent to begin process for removing justice AK Ganguly as the chief of WBHRC.
After the President gives his consent, a three-member panel will be formed to probe charges of alleged misconduct against Ganguly, and if found guilty, prime facie, the former apex court will be sacked as the head of WBHRC.
The plea seeking proposal for presidential reference against Ganguly was moved by the West Bengal government to the MHA, which forwarded it to the Union Cabinet for its approval.
Justice Ganguly has been under scanner for sexually harassing a law intern in December last year and was also indicted by an apex court panel, which probed the case.
The retired apex court judge however remains defiant so far despite mounting pressure on him to quit from several quarters.
Asked whether he will resign as West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman after being accused of sexual harassment by a law intern, Ganguly said, "I have not decided anything."
Ahead of the cabinet decision, Attorney General GE Vahanvati had stated that a case could be made out against Justice Ganguly.
Justice Ganguly has denied sexually harassing the law intern.
The three-judge committee had earlier probed the allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Ganguly and had prima facie found an "act of unwelcome behaviour" and "conduct of sexual nature" on the part of the retired judge.