This Article is From Dec 10, 2013

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee defends Justice AK Ganguly, indicted in sexual harassment case

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee defends Justice AK Ganguly, indicted in sexual harassment case

File photo of Justice AK Ganguly

Kolkata: At a time when calls for resignation of Justice AK Ganguly, indicted for sexually harassing a young intern, as the chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) are growing shriller, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has defended him and, instead, questioned the Supreme Court panel's intervention in the matter. Justice Ganguly, meanwhile, said today he was not resigning.

Mr Chatterjee's defence came at a programme organised by the WBHRC. He was the chief speaker at the event.

After the speeches were over, Mr Chatterjee was asked what he felt about demands for Justice Ganguly to quit as chairman of the WBHRC. "I have full faith in Ganguly. What should be done, he will do. You also have to think about the fact that, everyone has a right, dignity. Someone just says something? If there is proof, the country will punish him. Only after proof," he said.

Asked about the role of the Supreme Court panel which has indicted Justice Ganguly, Mr Chatterjee said, "I don't know under what authority they went into it. Forthwith they have decided not to touch any such matter. Why this exception was made and what is the outcome of it? Nothing."

Asked if the panel's intention may have been malafide, he said, "I wouldn't say malafide, I would say over zealousness."

Mr Chatterjee's statement came even as an NGO took out a token protest march in Kolkata and Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien tweeted, "It would be apt if Justice Ganguly chose UN Human Rights Day to step down as WBHRC chair and cleanse his office."

But Justice Ganguly refused to oblige. Asked about the speculation that he may be resigning, Ganguly said, "No, I am not."

Many also read between the lines when Justice Ganguly, at the WBHRC event, ended his speech saying, "Those who fight for right had to fight after paying a price."

The last word in this controversy is, clearly, yet to be heard.