The Supreme Court panel had concluded that the act was "unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature."

The former Supreme Court judge, Asok Ganguly, questioned the jurisdiction of the three-judge committee which probed sexual harassment charges levelled against him by a law intern, and used other technical grounds to defend himself, according to the panel’s report accessed by The Hindu.

The Supreme Court panel, which rejected the defence, concluded that the law intern’s statement prima facie disclosed an act of “unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.”

The report shows that Justice Ganguly appeared before the committee, comprising Justices R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu and Ranjana Desai, on November 27.

Justice Ganguly said he “strongly” denied the allegations of sexual harassment. But he argued that even accepting them to be true, the date of the alleged incident was December 24, 2012 and sought to defend himself on the ground that this was before the enactment of the Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013.

He cited Article 20(1) of the Constitution under which “no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence.”

The former judge also said the Visakha guidelines could not be applied to this case as “this court is not the workplace of either the intern or the judge concerned who retired.”

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