Kolkata: Former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, indicted for sexual harassment, has resigned as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights panel, sources have said.
Justice Ganguly reportedly handed his resignation to West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan this evening. After the meeting, however, he told reporters, “No comments.”
Last month, a committee of three Supreme Court judges found the former judge guilty of sexually harassing a woman intern at a five-star hotel in Delhi in December 2012.
The panel indicted him for what it called “unwelcome behaviour” and “conduct of sexual nature” towards the woman but said no action could be taken as Justice Ganguly had retired before the incident.
But the 66-year-old former judge has been under intense political pressure to step down since allegations against him surfaced in the intern’s blog two months ago. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee twice, seeking his removal.
Last week, the Union Cabinet had cleared a request for a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court to forcibly remove Justice Ganguly. Sources say he didn’t want to face the embarrassment of a Presidential reference.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court rejected a petition arguing that the former judge was framed by detractors, and dismissed a second plea questioning its decision to appoint a panel to investigate the allegations against Justice Ganguly. Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam said, “We don’t need to explain to everyone who appear before us why did we appoint the committee.”
In an indication that the retired judge was bowing to pressure, former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee had said on Sunday, “Justice Ganguly spoke to me over telephone and said that he is thinking of resigning.”
Mr Sorabjee also said that he told Justice Ganguly that it would be a “wise decision” to resign, according to the Press Trust of India.
Story First Published: January 06, 2014 17:12 IST