“The Supreme Court is fully empowered on the judicial side to ensure that the law takes its own course. It cannot escape from its judicial responsibility”

The Supreme Court cannot follow an “escapist route” on the sexual harassment complaint against Justice A.K. Ganguly, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said on Friday, demanding that the apex court monitor a probe in the case as it had done in other matters like 2G scam.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha argued on his Facebook page that the Supreme Court’s reasoning that it cannot deal with the charges against Justice Ganguly due to its “administrative” limitations as he is a retired judge of the apex court “fails the test of conscience“.

“If it (the Supreme Court) has found a former judge of the Supreme Court prima facie committed an offence, it cannot follow an escapist route and hold that on the administrative side it has no jurisdiction.

“The Supreme Court is fully empowered on the judicial side to ensure that the law takes its own course. It cannot escape from its judicial responsibility,” Mr. Jaitley said.

“The administrative decision of the Supreme Court is being closely watched by all citizens. 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?” he said.

The BJP leader said Justice Ganguly must face the investigations as an ordinary citizen stepping down from the office he holds.

His Lok Sabha counterpart Sushma Swaraj has already demanded that Justice Ganguly should quit this post as “not just Caesar but Caesar’s wife should also be above suspicion“.

Mr. Jaitley pointed out that Supreme Court has devised the concept of “continuing mandamus” where it has nudged the investigation into action in matters where persons in high position have either abused their office, indulged in conduct unbecoming of the office and the law enforcement agencies are likely to be overawed by the personality of the accused.

“The court oversees the fact that the holder of the public office is to be dealt with in a manner as mandated by law. This is precisely what the bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly did in the 2G spectrum case,” he said.

Mr. Jaitley maintained that the Supreme Court should apply the same principle even more sternly to a sitting or a former judge.