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Former judge Ganguly questions how ASG Jaising can release law intern’s affidavit

Calcutta, Dec 16 (PTI) : Former Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly, who has been accused by a law intern of sexually harassing her, on Monday questioned how additional solicitor general Indira Jaising had made public excerpts from the intern's affidavit.

“That is supposed to be confidential as it was given before a Supreme Court committee. How can it come out in the open?” questioned Ganguly, a former Supreme Court judge.

When asked whether he would complain about this, the retired judge told PTI, “What can I do? Who is listening to me?”

He refused to comment on the woman’s affidavit, as published in a national daily, saying, “I will not say anything on this”.

The woman, a graduate of a law school in Calcutta, had, in a sworn affidavit before a panel of three Supreme Court court judges, given a detailed account of what happened to her in a Delhi hotel room on 24 December, 2012, when she had reported to the judge’s room for work.

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 West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

Jaising has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking Ganguly’s removal from the WBHRC post.

“I have written a letter to the Prime Minister for initiating action for removal of Justice A K Ganguly as the chairman of WBHRC.

“It is for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to decide and ask the President to make a reference to the Supreme Court for his removal,” she told PTI.

The ASG said she has approached the Prime Minister with her letter after Justice Ganguly chose not to resign.

She has requested the Prime Minister to initiate the due process of law for the judge's removal in order to maintain the institutional integrity of Human Rights Bodies.

“We will be sending a much-required signal to the country at large, that the rights of women matter and will be respected.

It will also send a signal that 'be you ever so high, the law is above law' and most importantly, it will send a signal that those who are charged with the constitutional duty to enforce the law, must first live by the law themselves,” she said.

In her letter, Jaising said, “Sir, as is evident from the finding of the three judges committee there is a prima facie case of an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non verbal conduct of sexual nature) by Mr Justice (retd) A K Ganguly.”

Several women rights activists, political leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Trinamool Congress have also been vocal demanding his removal.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written twice to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking strong action against the former judge.

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