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Ganguly quits as teacher

- Ex-judge no ‘burden’ on NUJS

Former Supreme Court judge Asok Ganguly, accused of sexually harassing an intern, has quit as guest lecturer at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS).

“Since some of the members of the faculty expressed their reservations about my continuance with NUJS as a member of the guest faculty, I voluntarily opt out of the position and do not want to continue as a member of the guest faculty and be a burden on NUJS,” Ganguly wrote in a letter to P. Ishwara Bhat, the Bypass law school’s vice-chancellor, on Friday.

After retiring from the Supreme Court, Ganguly had been delivering a weekly one-hour lecture on constitutional litigation at NUJS. The intern who had complained of sexual harassment was a student of the law school before Ganguly had taken the teaching assignment.

“We appreciate his (Ganguly’s) gesture,” said Bhat. “The resignation letter will be placed at the meeting of the executive council (the highest policy-making body of the university), to be held in January-end.”

Ganguly is also an ex-officio member of the NUJS general council by virtue of being chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. If he quits the rights panel, he will lose his position in the general council, too.

Bhat said Ganguly’s letter had no mention of his quitting the general council.

An official said Ganguly would continue to be involved in the functioning of the law school though he would no longer be associated with its academic activities.

“Ganguly will very much be part of the NUJS system as long as he holds a chair in the general council,” the official said.

Ganguly’s letter to the VC came a day after the Union cabinet cleared a proposal for a presidential reference seeking an apex court probe into three allegations against him, including that of sexual harassment.

In the letter, Ganguly stuck to his stand that the allegation of sexual harassment was false and denied having said that the intern was a pawn in a political game. “I strongly deny the allegations of sexual harassment.... I have never said that the female intern who made some allegation against me is a pawn in a political game. I have no ill feeling towards her and wish her well in life.”

In a blog posted on the website of the Journal of Indian Law and Society, 12 NUJS teachers had said they were appalled at Ganguly’s statement that the law intern was a political pawn.