Justice (retd.) Asok Kumar Ganguly is within his rights not to resign as chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) said former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir here on Friday.

“He has the right to do so [not to resign]. I will not say anything more,” Justice Kabir told journalists at an event in the city. The former Chief Justice, however, refused to elaborate.

On Thursday, the Union Cabinet gave its nod to a Presidential Reference to the Supreme Court for removal of Justice Ganguly as chairperson of WBHRC.

Asked whether the woman law intern who had made allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Ganguly should file a police complaint, Justice Kabir said, “That is what everybody is saying”.

Commenting on the developments, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee questioned the entire process and wondered how the Law Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs could give their views on the Reference.  Mr. Chatterjee felt there was some kind of “conspiracy”. Both Mr. Chatterjee and Justice Kabir have said in the past that the retired Supreme Court judge should not be pressurised to resign just on the basis of allegations.

 Later in the afternoon, Justice Ganguly resigned as a guest faculty from the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), a city based law University, citing reservations of some faculty members who wanted him to dissociate from the University.

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