The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday demanded that A.K. Ganguly be dismissed as head of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, while the Trinamool Congress wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, seeking his removal.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj asked for his removal, while her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley called for action against him as the former Supreme Court Judge stands accused by a former law intern.
Ms. Swaraj tweeted: “Since Supreme Court panel has indicted Justice Ganguly for his unwelcome behaviour, his continuation as Chairman WBHRC is most unwelcome.” A tweet by Mr. Jaitley said: “Supreme Court on the administrative side may not have the power to deal with a retired judge. It could certainly do so on the judicial side.”
Mr. Jaitley said the standards the Supreme Court lays down for every holder of high office it must apply even more sternly to a sitting or former judge of the court. In his twitter post, he added: “After recording the statement of the intern and the affidavits of three witnesses and of the former Judge the Committee has observed that the allegations prima facie disclose an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature) by the former Judge in his room in the hotel on December 24, 2012. However, considering the fact that the court on the administrative side did not have a jurisdiction to deal with a retired judge and a former intern, the full court on the administrative side opined that no further follow up action could be taken by the court.”
Commenting on the court’s decision that if representations against former judges are received, those shall not be entertained by the administration of the court, Mr. Jaitley said: “This reasoning of the full court fails the test of conscience. …. The administrative decision of the Supreme Court, is being closely watched… Is the Court dealing with a former Judge, who currently holds the office as the Chairman, Human Rights Commission, West Bengal in the same way as it would have dealt with any other person who is or has been the holder of an exalted office?”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking “appropriate action” against Mr. Ganguly.