‘Now, it is not possible to work with dignity and honour’

Describing the allegations of sexual harassment against him as “unfounded and baseless,” Justice (retd.) Asok Kumar Ganguly has said in his letter of resignation that his decision to quit as chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission was to “obviate any further controversy and to ensure peace and happiness of the members of my family.”

In the hand-written, two-page letter he submitted to Governor M.K. Narayanan on Monday, the former Supreme Court judge has questioned the recommendation for a Presidential Reference for his removal. The recommendation to the President for “my removal is based on grounds, which, in my opinion, are untenable and misconstrued.”

Even after a Supreme Court committee, probing the complaint of sexual harassment made by a law intern, concluded that there was an act of unwelcome behaviour on his part, Justice Ganguly denied the charges. “I would like to affirmatively say the allegations which are appearing against me in the media, both electronic and print, are unfounded and baseless, and I deny the same,” the letter states.

Explaining the reason for his resignation, he said he would have “no attachment to any post unless I can work with dignity and honour,” and “it is not possible under the present situation.”

“I make it clear that I have no rancour towards any of my detractors and I wish them well in life,” he said.

A State government release said the Governor “…has acceded his acceptance to the resignation with immediate affect.”

In a letter earlier in the day, the Principal Secretary to the Governor informed the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, that Justice Ganguly had submitted a letter on Monday “conveying his resignation.” Justice Ganguly met Mr. Narayanan at the Raj Bhavan and handed over his resignation.

Earlier, Justice Ganguly called up Commission officials and told them that he would not go to the office and they should cancel two hearings scheduled for the day.

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