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BJP, protestors call for AK Ganguly resignation, as senior advocates ask for continued action

BJP leader calls for AK Ganguly resignation: BJP Lok Sabha opposition leader Sushma Swaraj called for former Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly’s resignation as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission over the allegation that he sexually harassed an intern in 2012.

“Not only Caesar's wife but Caesar too must be above suspicion,” Swaraj tweeted, after members of WB’s Trinamool Congress made the same demand over the weekend, reported NDTV.

Silent protest outside Ganguly’s WB office: The activists showcased banners such as “Bharat Bachao Sangathan”  and “Jurisprudence calls for arrest of Ashok Ganguly”, claiming that he should resign from the state’s human rights commission to ensure a fair process, according to the PTI.

The Times of India compiled the views of a number of “legal luminaries” on the issue, with most asking for swift action. Senior advocate Indira Jaising called for the inquiry’s report to become public: “The report requires to be immediately released to the woman complainant whose statement was recorded and to the public. If the SC has disclosed the name of the judge, then why shouldn't the contents of the report be released?” She added that it would end current “speculation if the committee has said the allegations are prima facie true or not”.

Jaising’s husband and senior advocate, Anand Grover, said there couldn’t be a double standard compared to the case of Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal. “If Goa police can register an FIR against Tejpal in the absence of a written complaint, why not do the same here if information on a cognisable offence is passed on? You have to follow the law if an offence disclosed.”

Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora: “It isn't so simple. I appreciate the CJI constituted the committee. There was no attempt to brush it under the carpet and the SC hasn't hesitated. So we need to now go the whole way forward. No one is above law howsoever high you may be.”

The paper wrote that senior advocate Raju Ramchandran expected the inquiry’s report to be out in “the next couple of days”, and that he criticised ex-CJI Kabir for talking of “conspiracy” in his defence of Ganguly.

Ramchandran added: “At this time, the issue of resignation is a matter between Justice Ganguly and his conscience. One would expect that as a judge with a conscience who heads a human rights body, if such grave allegations have been leveled against him, he would go on leave. Even if a prima facie finding in the report emerges then he should resign immediately.” [TOI]

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