Coming to the defence of beleaguered Justice A.K. Ganguly again, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Thursday said it would be a ‘travesty of justice’ if the Supreme Court was requested by the Centre to probe into the allegations against him afresh.
“It would be a travesty of justice. The Supreme Court has already made an administrative inquiry. How can the Supreme Court go into its own findings again?” Mr. Chatterjee told PTI in Kolkata.
He was commenting on the Home Ministry seeking the opinion of the Law Ministry for sending a Presidential reference to the Supreme Court to probe the allegations against Justice Ganguly and give its recommendations on the issue of removing him as chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
“Senior judges of the Supreme Court were part of the inquiry panel,” Mr. Chatterjee said referring to the three-judge panel which had indicted Justice Ganguly after going into the allegations of a law intern.
“Government has no jurisdiction. What is his (Sushil Kumar Shinde’s) jurisdiction? Law does not interpret his intervention. Under the Act the government has no jurisdiction, except to prosecute,” Mr. Chatterjee said.
Stating that Justice Ganguly should suffer if ‘he tells lies’, Mr. Chatterjee, however, said, “There are too many coincidences in the story.”
Mr. Chatterjee said that under Section 23 of the Human Rights Act, if Justice Ganguly was convicted of moral turpitude and sentenced to imprisonment, “then the President can remove him.”
“But where is the conviction and punishment? Punishment is by media? And, punishment by press conferences? And, by clamour in Parliament? He should resign if he has done something. Why should be resign if he has not done anything? If he resigns, it will be an admission,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Ganguly declined to comment on the Home Ministry seeking the opinion of the Law Ministry.
“Why are you asking me all these questions? I am not going to answer anything,” Justice Ganguly told PTI in Kolkata when asked.
He has denied the allegations of the law intern and also refused to quit as chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
Trinamool Congress MP and lawyer Kalyan Banerjee told PTI that a delegation of party MPs met the President during the day and requested him to take steps for Justice Ganguly’s removal.
“We are firm on our demand that Justice Ganguly should resign forthwith from the WBHRC chairman’s post,” he said.
The President has the power to invoke Section 23 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which deals with the resignation and removal of the chairperson or a member of a State commission, he added.