Supreme Court dismisses PILs on Justice A K Ganguly issue

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 7 2014, 01:11am hrs
The Supreme Court today refused to entertain PILs on the controversy surrounding its former judge A K Ganguly, who is facing allegation of sexual harassment of a law intern.

A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed two PILs, one filed by a woman doctor M Padma Narayan Singh seeking quashing of the complaint on which a three-member panel of apex court judge indicted Justice Ganguly, and the other by an advocate Uday Gupta pleading for registration of a case against the former judge.

The bench said that it cannot interfere in the issue at this stage and the "law will take its course in the matter".

"We have gone through every word of your averments and prayers. We are not inclined to go into them. Its too early to say anything about it," the bench said, adding that "let the law take its own course".

Singh, a senior citizen, alleged that Ganguly has become a victim of conspiracy as he, as an arbitrator, had decided a matter between a prominent football club of Kolkata and All India Football Federation (AIFF) in which the intern had also participated.

Gupta, on the other hand, submitted that a case be registered against the former judge and pleaded that the apex court should monitor the investigation in the case till final report is submitted to the trial court.

"The least that could be done was to report the matter to the concerned police station through the Registrar General of this Court and thereafter, the matter should have been left for investigation by the police. Since the respondent is a former judge of this Court, the investigation by the police should have been monitored by it," he contended.

He also said that the Centre be directed to frame appropriate provisions of law to govern the conduct of retired judges.

Justice Ganguly, Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission who had already distanced himself from the petitions, in a recent conversation with former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee had conveyed his intention to resign as chairman of the WBHRC. The former AG told Ganguly that it was a "wise decision".

A three-judge Supreme Court panel had indicted Justice Ganguly by holding that the statements of the intern, both written and oral, had prima facie disclosed "an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature)" by the judge with her in a Le Meridien Hotel room on December 24, last year.

Justice Ganguly has denied the allegations of the law intern and blamed "powerful interests" of trying to tarnish his image due to certain judgements delivered by him.

In a letter of Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam last month, Justice Ganguly had said he had neither harassed the law intern nor made any unwelcome advances towards her or any other female intern.