The government would request the removal of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) chairman AK Ganguly, who has been accused of sexual harassment, by making a presidential reference to the Supreme Court, reported the Times of India.
The Centre may seek to get Ganguly removed under section 23(1A) of the Human Rights Act, under which “moral turpitude” and “proved misbehaviour” can be grounds for removal:
The chairperson or any member of the state commission shall only be removed from his office by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the SC, on a reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in that behalf by the SC, reported that the chairperson or such member as the case may be, ought on any such ground to be removed.
The language mirrors Article 317(1) of the Constitution, as tweeted @CourtWitness1, which allows for the removal of any members of public service commissions.
An administrative three-member Supreme Court inquiry had found Ganguly, according to prima facie evidence, had indulged in verbal and non-verbal sexual conduct against a former intern, after he retired from office.
Additional solicitor general Indira Jaising published an open letter on Monday to Ganguly, seeking his resigation, while explicitly detailing the allegations made against him by the intern to the inquiry.