Additional Solicitor-General Indira Jaising has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking that the government request the President to make a reference to the Supreme Court for removal of A.K. Ganguly as Chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission under the Protection of Human Rights Act.
Section 23 of the Act deals with resignation and removal of the chairperson or a member of the State commission. Section 23 (1A) says the chairperson or a member can be removed by an order of the President for misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a Presidential Reference, reports after an inquiry that the head or a member ought to be removed.
Mr. Jaising wants Dr. Singh to invoke this provision for removing Justice Ganguly because the three-member committee appointed by Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam said the statement of the law intern prima facie disclosed an act of unwelcome behaviour on his part.
“As is evident from the findings of the committee, there is a prima facie case of an act of unwelcome behaviour by Justice Ganguly. A person against whom there is an allegation of sexual harassment cannot be allowed to occupy the position of chairperson of a human rights commission without his name being honourably cleared. The office of chairperson is an office of trust, and is held only so long as the conduct is beyond reproach,” she said.
Ms. Jaising said the judge was reported to have said he would not resign since he was not found guilty by a competent court of law.
He should go, say BJP, Trinamool
Special Correspondent adds:
The BJP and the Trinamool Congress have also sought his resignation.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Friday and demanded that he either resign or be removed.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay endorsed Ms. Swaraj’s view. He said such persons should not be allowed to occupy high post.