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‘Is this how you would treat your daughter, My Lord?’ The Additional Solicitor General asks as she shares what the law intern who has accused ex-SC judge A K Ganguly of sexual harassment told a court panel
Following the allegations of sexual harassment against a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India, the Attorney General filed a petition on the same day asking for an investigation into the matter. When the matter was mentioned at 2 pm, the Chief Justice announced that he had set up a committee in his administrative capacity, of three judges, two being incumbent chief justices and a woman judge, to investigate and give a report to the Chief Justice.
The intern gave her statement to the committee, provided the affidavits of witnesses to whom she spoke immediately after the incident, gave all the mobile phone numbers of witnesses and of Justice Ganguly, and stood by her statement. Justice Ganguly was also called and his statement was video recorded. Apart from denying the allegations, he said the new law of 2013 making sexual harassment an offence did not apply to him as the alleged incident was of 2012, forgetting that outraging the modesty of a woman was always an offence, a law under which K P S Gill was prosecuted successfully by Rupan Deol Bajaj.
The committee gave its report in which it concluded: “We have carefully scrutinised the statement (written as well as oral) of the intern, 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, the intern 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. Further the committee is of the considered view that the statement of the intern, both written and oral, prima facie discloses an act of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/ non-verbal conduct of 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 pm and 10.30 pm.”
When the judge was named as A K Ganguly, it was clear that the alleged offence occurred during his tenure as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, a