West Bengal Governor accepts Justice Ganguly's resignation
Kolkata, Jan 8 - West Bengal Governor M. K. Narayanan has accepted the resignation of retired Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly from the post of Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).
This brings to a closure speculations about whether the former supreme court judge had resigned or not from the post.
Narayanan has forwarded the resignation letter of Justice Ganguly to West Bengal's Chief Secretary and to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Earlier, Justice Ganguly had distanced himself from a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that was filed in the Supreme Court two days ago supporting him.
The PIL was filed by Delhi-based doctor M Padma Narayan Singh in the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to restrain the government from taking any action against Justice Ganguly.
But the Supreme Court rejected the petition on Monday. The petitioner had also sought a quashing of the report in which a three-member panel of Supreme Court judges indicted Justice Ganguly for unwelcome behaviour against the woman law intern.
Commenting on the petition, Justice Ganguly had said that he was not connected and had no idea about the PIL.
"No comment, I have told you. I have no idea. I have nothing to do with it. I am no way connected with it. I have no idea," he said.
The three-judge Supreme Court committee probing the complaint filed by the law intern against Ganguly said that there was prima facie evidence. The three-judge panel, which heard testimonies submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India, P. Sathasivam, naming Ganguly as the accused.
It was the first time that the Supreme Court had set up an internal inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against a presiding or former judge.
Justice Ganguly had also said that he had not filed any petition and had already claimed his innocence.
"I have never filed any PIL. I have no idea of any PIL at all. You are totally wrong in saying that I have filed a PIL. I have nothing to do with this matter," Justice Ganguly had said.
In the past, Justice Ganguly had presided over numerous cases involving crimes against women during his career as a judge.
The intern"s allegations created a media furore - with female lawyers, politicians and activists calling for the country"s top court to investigate the incident and for the accused judge to be named publicly.
The case is one of a small but growing number in which victims of alleged sexual harassment have come forward to complain about powerful male superiors.
Activists say sexual harassment and abuse by powerful and privileged men is widespread in India, but few women have been willing to talk about it. (ANI)