The episode of misbehaviour by a retired Supreme Court judge with an “intern” is a matter of great concern. It is commendable that the Chief Justice of India immediately sprang into action and constituted a committee of inquiry. One has to commend the integrity, commitment and the concern for women exhibited by Justice P. Sathasivam especially after he has acted in a transparent manner (Dec. 6). The fact that a summary of the report has now been displayed on the website of Supreme Court is praiseworthy.
It is disheartening to know that women in our country are not safe while working even with judges. If a justice giver commits such a horrendous act, then what justice can the average citizen expect? This is an incident that has shocked the conscience of people. However, the quick follow-up action by the Supreme Court shows that no one is above the law. The report, based on a proper and effective scrutiny of facts, has again strengthened our faith in the judiciary.
Heightened activism by media and social activists in condemning Justice A.K. Ganguly in the harassment case even before a formal complaint has been lodged defies the law of natural justice. First, under the veil of protection and secrecy under the law, anybody, in order to tarnish the reputation of an eminent person or seek revenge, might come up with a concocted story and make the life of the person miserable. Second, it is hard to believe that the said intern is incapacitated by a lack of knowledge, resources and procedure. Therefore, taking the high moral ground by raising her voice now and speaking for wider good defies logic. Even in this case too, a bad precedent will be set if the victim intends making a statement and not pursuing it further. Justice Ganguly will end up being socially tainted without getting an opportunity to present his side of the story. This again defies the law of natural justice.