The BJP and the Trinamool Congress on Friday demanded resignation of former Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Ganguly from the post of chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj demanded that Justice Ganguly should either resign or he be removed as he did not have moral right to hold a high position as head of the WBHRC.

Ms. Swaraj recalled the incidents involving the former Supreme Court judge and Tehelka magazine’s founder-editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, who was accused by a junior journalist of sexual assault, saying such relations were that of “guardian and ward” and of “trust”. She said if such relations of trust and faith face such accusations, the incidents become all the more serious.

Ms. Swaraj said since Justice Ganguly was holding a high position, he should not be allowed to go scot free. “On ethical ground he should have resigned by now. But he is still holding on to his post. He should immediately resign or else he should be removed from his post,” she demanded.

She said that it was unfortunate that even after strong laws were framed after last December’s rape incident in Delhi to control crimes against women, such incidents were taking place. At that time there was nation-wide outrage and stringent laws were enacted with the hope that such crimes would not recur, she said.

The senior BJP leader stressed that a crime committed by a small person could be pardoned but a small crime of a person holding high position should not go unpunished. Ms. Swaraj said the former Supreme Court judge had been indicted by a three-member panel of the Supreme Court of indulging in “an unwelcome behaviour”.

“The higher a person’s post and status, the bigger is his crime and the punishment should also be tougher. A person’s status — be it political or religious leader, reputed journalist or Supreme Court judge — should not be a shield against punishment,” she said.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay endorsed the Leader of the Opposition’s view, saying Justice Ganguly should resign immediately. He said these heinous crimes cannot be tolerated and such persons should not be allowed to occupy a high post. “He is holding the position of Chairman of Human Rights Commission of West Bengal and in spite of demand from the people of West Bengal, he has refused to tender his resignation,” the TMC leader said.

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