Time-tested values like kindness, compassion and forgiveness have been supplanted by brutal liberality and the lure of the lucre. The virulent exhibition of intolerance in society and politics really generates apprehensions about the things to come. The sheer witch-hunt that Justice (retd.) A.K. Ganguly was forced to endure was reminiscent of medieval times; the exact truth remains uninvestigated. Seasoned senior citizens could not air their views for fear of reprisal and judgment. Justice Ganguly’s courageous refusal to file a defamation suit against his former student was an example of the righteousness and honour of the Indian tradition that lies forgotten today.
Finally, Justice Ganguly has resigned as Chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. In doing so, he has temporarily avoided the ignominy of facing a formal Supreme Court inquiry based on a Presidential Reference. He ought to have resigned immediately after the Supreme Court panel, which did not recommend action as Justice Ganguly had retired as a judge when the offence took place, released its inquiry findings. In the face of the serious allegations, the government should follow through with legal action regardless of the social position of the accused. This will enhance the aam aadmi’s trust in state institutions.
The editorial “Belated, but right decision” (Jan. 8) raises a couple of rarely-considered issues. Let’s for a moment shelve the question of the veracity of the allegation, which can only be examined in retrospect and never conclusively proved, against Justice Ganguly. What is to prevent, in general, all and sundry from levelling such allegations, for reasons personal or instigated, against an individual who stands the risk of being dislodged from his social position? With no safeguards to ensure that they get to preserve their dignity, won’t this cause disquiet among persons accused unfairly of such acts?
In any legal case, the man in the street only sees the media back-and-forth. This rigmarole consists of strong denials on both sides, political hue and cry, public interest litigation petitions, and finally, resignations on “moral grounds”. Media exposures lead the pack in these escapades. Amid so much acrimony, there is scant dignity left in the legal process.
G.M. Rama Rao,