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Sexual harassment: Prima facie proof against AK Ganguly

The Supreme Court panel probing the Justice AK Ganguly sexual misbehaviour case has said that there is prima facie evidence of unwelcome behaviour by the retired justice.

The committee came to the conclusion after scrutinising the statement of the intern, affidavits of three witnesses and justice Ganguly.

Justice AK Ganguly.

Justice AK Ganguly.

However the Apex Court said that since the law intern was not on its roll and the judge had already retired, no further action was required by the court. (Read the full order here).

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam says in the order, "We have carefully scrutinized the statement (written as well as oral) of Ms. Stella James, the affidavits of her three witnesses and the statement of Mr. Justice (Retd.) A.K. Ganguly. It appears to the Committee that in the evening on 24.12.2012, Ms. Stella James had visited hotel Le Meridien where Mr. Justice (Retd.) A.K. Ganguly was staying to assist him in his work. This fact is not denied by Mr. Justice (Retd.) A.K. Ganguly in his statement."

Further the Committee is of the considered view that the statement of Ms. Stella James, both written and oral, prima facie discloses an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature) by Mr. Justice (Retd.) A.K. Ganguly with her in the room in hotel Le Meridien on 24.12.2012 approximately between 8.00 P.M. and 10.30 P.M."

But the CJI's order goes on to read that "considering the fact that the said intern was not an intern on the roll of the Supreme Court and that the concerned Judge had already demitted office on account of superannuation on the date of the incident, no further follow up action is required by this Court."

The young woman intern had accused the sitting judge, who retired recently, of having misbehaved with her in a hotel room last December while the nation was grappling with the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital.

Earlier in the day a report in The Times of India said the fact-finding committee comprising Justices R M Lodha, HL Dattu and Ranjana Prakash Desai examined her statements and that of Justice AK Ganguly and found merit in her allegations.

Justice Ganguly, now chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, has until now denied the charges levelled by the young woman who worked with him in 2012.

The complainant went public with her allegations through a blog post in November this year and then a subsequent interview, stating that the incident occurred in a hotel in New Delhi in December last year.Chief Justice P Sathasivam then instituted the fact-finding committee.

Justice Ganguly retired in February this year .

Meanwhile, an NGO sought police action against the retired judge even as the Trinamool Congress intensified its attack against him.

The NGO, Bharat Bachao Sangstan, submitted a memorandum to the Hare Street police station in Kolkata demanding that an FIR be filed against him, according to reports.

The NGO had recently staged a protest against him outside the offices of the state human rights commission.


Updated Date: Dec 05, 2013 19:20 PM

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