Former SC judge writes to CJI that he never harassed or made any unwelcome advances to any female intern
Raising questions about the Supreme Court Committee report which held that allegations against him by a woman law intern prima facie disclosed an act of unwelcome behaviour, Justice (retd) Asok Kumar Ganguly has written to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) saying there was a “concerted move” to tarnish his image.
“…there is concerted move to tarnish my image as I had the unfortunate duty of rendering certain judgements against powerful interests. I may point out that, despite odds, I judged the issues without fear or favour and if that triggers collateral attack on me then it poses threat to independence of the judiciary,” said the retired Supreme Court judge who delivered the judgment on the 2G scam. A copy of the letter dated December 23 has been sent to the President also.
He said the Supreme Court had not addressed him correctly.
Justice Ganguly, who is serving as the chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission since April 2012 and had faced considerable pressure to quit his post following the allegations, reiterated his innocence. “I never harassed nor did I make any unwelcome advances to any female intern”.
On the Supreme Court Committee report that indicted him but refused to act on grounds that he was retired judge, he raised questions that since the intern had revealed her name there was no reason for the Supreme Court not to know that the allegations were against a retired judge.
While Justice Ganguly in his letter said no complaint was ever made before the Supreme Court by the intern prior to the formation of the Committee, he also raised questions on the report of the Supreme Court Committee being published.
Saying the report could not qualify to be act of Court, which warranted publication, he pointed out that it, was not a “judgement, order or decree” and to publish such “tentative opinions” is completely unauthorised even if done on administrative side.
Justice Ganguly has also said though he responded to the request of the Committee and appeared before it in good faith without questioning its authority, the conduct of the officials of the Court and the proceedings before the Committee “were far from appropriate”.
He said he was “treated almost like a person in captivity and was surrounded by a posse of security officers when he entered the Supreme Court. He said that when he asked the Committee for a copy of the intern’s affidavit he was told “curtly” that he would not given a copy, as it was confidential.
“Although I am denied a copy of intern’s statement, I was shocked to find that substantial portion of the contents of the statements of the intern were leaked out verbatim in a Bengali Newspaper….” the letter states.
Justice Ganguly has also demanded an enquiry to find out at whose instance the contents of the affidavit was leaked to the Law Ministry and to the press even before the full court could consider the matter on December 5.
“I see in the whole game a palpable design to malign me at the instance of interested quarters,” said the former judge.
Justice Ganguly has also sought to know that whether the approval of the CJI or other members of the Committee was taken before additional solicitor general Indira Jaising distributed the intern’s affidavit.
He also added that he had conducted himself “above reproach” and despite being pained at the unfolding of the incidents his moral strength remains “undiminished”.