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Cops sound NGOs on intern

New Delhi, Jan. 8: Delhi police are in touch with some Delhi-based NGOs to find out if the law intern who has accused a former Supreme Court judge of sexual misconduct will lodge a complaint that will facilitate investigations.

The law intern has not yet recorded with the police a statement against Asok Kumar Ganguly, the former judge who resigned two days ago as the chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. Ganguly has denied the charges against him, describing them as “unfounded and baseless”.

In a statement in December, the intern had stood by her allegations and said: “I request that it be acknowledged that I have the discernment to pursue appropriate proceedings at appropriate times. I ask that my autonomy be respected fully.”

Delhi police have so far sent five emails to the intern, an officer said. “As a last-ditch effort, we have decided to take the help of some NGOs to help her approach us. We will ensure her privacy and provide all the help if she comes forward with her complaint,” the officer said.

“We have also spoken to some of her colleagues and friends to persuade her to register a complaint. She is yet to lodge a formal complaint to ensure the case reaches its logical conclusion. If she does not come forward, we have no role in the matter,” the officer added.

The law intern has not responded to the police after her December 7 email informing them that she was then on tour but would return and “cooperate”.

In the emails sent to her, the police had asked her to inform when she would make herself available for her statement. “We made it clear that her statement was very important in the case and the full-fledged investigation in the case will start only after thatů,” said S.B.S. Tyagi, deputy commissioner (New Delhi district).

In their last mail to the intern, Delhi police requested her to come forward immediately as the purported excerpts of her statement to the Supreme Court panel were already made public by the additional solicitor-general Indira Jaising.

The police are now keeping their fingers crossed. “We are still hopeful but she has to make the final call,” another police officer said. “If she does not come forward, we cannot proceed further as we do not know what exact offence should be made out against the accused.”

S.N. Singh, former dean of the Delhi University’s Faculty of Law, expressed surprise. “It’s very unfortunate that she is yet to lodge a police complaint after making such an allegation. I do not know what is going on in her mind,” said the academic who had asked the police in November to register a case for sexual assault on the basis of the intern’s first blog.