Justice Ganguly’s removal sought under PHR Act
I have today prayed to the President of India to use his authority under section 23 of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 to remove accused Justice A K Ganguly from the post of Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
In my letter, I have requested that after clear indictment by the three Judge inquiry committee of the Supreme Court and the coming into public of the Intern’s Affidavit, there is no doubt regarding his “unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature)”. What is even more disturbing and disgusting is the fact that even after coming of these facts, Justice Ganguly is behaving more like a hardened criminal and searching for technicalities, which goes completely against the dignity of a retired Supreme Court Judge.
I have requested that all these come under the category of proved misbehaviour for which the President shall remove Justice Ganguly in the interest of justice, under provisions of section 23(1A) of PHR Act after calling the three-member enquiry report from the Chief Justice of India.
पीएचआर एक्ट के तहत जस्टिस गांगुली को हटाने की मांग
मैंने आज भारत के राष्ट्रपति को मानव अधिकार संरक्षण अधिनियम, 1993 की धारा 23 में प्रदत्त शक्तियों का उपयोग करते हुए जस्टिस ए के गांगुली को पश्चिम बंगाल मानवाधिकार आयोग के अध्यक्ष पद से हटाये जाने हेतु निवेदन किया है.
मैंने अपने पत्र में निवेदन किया है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट के तीन जजों की जांच कमिटी द्वारा दोषी ठहराए जाने और विधि छात्रा के हलफनामे के सामने आने के बाद इस बात में कोई शंका नहीं रह गयी है कि जस्टिस गांगुली ने जांच कमिटी की भाषा में “अनुचित आचरण (जबरिया शाब्दिक/अशाब्दिक यौन कदाचार)” किया. जो बात अधिक कष्टप्रद और दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण है वह यह कि इन तथ्यों के सामने आने के बाद भी जस्टिस गांगुली एक पूर्व सुप्रीम कोर्ट जज की गरिमा के विपरीत एक पेशेवर अपराधी की तरह आचरण कर रहे हैं और अपने आप को बचाने के लिए तकनीकी शब्दावली का प्रयोग कर रहे हैं.
मैंने निवेदन किया है कि जस्टिस गांगुली के ये सभी आचरण सिद्ध दुराचरण की श्रेणी में आते हैं जिसके लिए राष्ट्रपति को न्याय हित में चीफ जस्टिस से तीन-सदस्यीय जांच कमिटी की रिपोर्ट मांगा कर उन्हें मानवाधिकार संरक्षण अधिनियम के धारा 23(1ए) के तत्काल हटाया जाना उचित होगा.
Letter to the President of India---
The Hon’ble President of India,
Subject- Removal of Justice A K Ganguly, ex Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, from the post of Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission, Kolkata under the provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act 1993
1. That the applicant, Amitabh Thakur, is an officer of the Indian Police Service in Uttar Pradesh cadre but he is writing his letter in his individual capacity as a concerned citizen of this nation.
2. That the basic facts regarding the allegations of sexual harassment/sexual misconduct by a law intern from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) against Justice A K Ganguly, ex Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, are now too well-known to the entire Nation to be presented here.
3. That as is again quite well-known, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India (CJI, for short) Justice P Sathasivam immediately constituted a three-judge committee to inquire into this law graduate's sexual harassment charge, consisting of Hon’ble Justice RM Lodha, Hon’ble Justice HL Dattu and Hon’ble Justice Ranjana P Desai
4. That this Inquiry Committee submitted its report dated 27/11/2013 to the Hon’ble CJI on 28/11/2013 and a written statement on behalf of the Hon’ble CJI was posted on the official website of the Hon’ble Supreme Court which said-“The operative portion of the Report is as follows: "We have carefully scrutinized the statement (written as well as oral) of Ms. Stella James, 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, Ms. Stella James 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 in his statement. Further the Committee is of the considered view that the statement of Ms. Stella James, 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 8.00 P.M. and 10.30 P.M."
5. That the official statement also said-“Considering the fact that the said intern was not an intern on the roll of the Supreme Court and that the concerned Judge had already demitted office on account of superannuation on the date of the incident, no further follow up action is required by this Court” and that-“As decided by the Full Court in its Meeting dated 5th December, 2013, it is made clear that the representations made against former Judges of this Court are not entertainable (sic) by the administration of the Supreme Court.”
6. That from the above facts it becomes clear that Justice Ganguly was definitely guilty of unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature) against a young Intern.
7. That it is also kindly stated that Justice Ganguly, after retirement, has been appointed as the Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (the Commission, for short)
8. That as is quite well-known, Chairman of a State Human Rights Commission is appointed under section 22(1) of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 which says that-“The Chairperson and Members shall be appointed by the Governor by warrant under his hand and seal.”
9. That the Chairman can be removed under the provisions of section 23(1A) and 23(2) of this Act which says-“ (1A) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), 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 Supreme Court, 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 Supreme Court, reported that the Chairperson or such Member, as the case may be, ought on any such ground to be removed. (2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1A), the President may by order remove from office the Chairperson or any Member if the Chairperson or such Member, as the case may be,--(a) is adjudged an insolvent; or (b) engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or (c) is unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or (d) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or(e) is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which in the opinion of the President involves moral turpitude.
10. That thus it is apparent that respected Sir can remove the Chairman in certain definite cases enumerated in section 23(2) which do not exactly hold true for Justice Ganguly at the moment
11. That at the same time, having been indicted by a Committee consisting of three Hon’ble Judges of the highest seat of Justice in the Nation, it becomes very apparent that it is a case of proved misbehavior.
12. That hence it seems a natural corollary for Justice Ganguly to be removed from the post of Chairman of the Commission because it is quite obvious and certain that a person against whom charges of “unwelcome behaviour (unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature)” have been stated and concluded by a Committee consisting of three sitting Hon’ble Judges of the Hon’ble Apex Court, is guilty of proven misbehavior without any doubt and cannot and shall not continue in this extremely important and sensitive post even for a minute.
13. That what is even more sad, disgusting and reproaching is the behavior and response of Justice Ganguly in the aftermath of this report.
14. That all through he has not only been denying these allegations, he has also been saying that there was no question of his demitting the post of Chairman.
15. That this seems to be the second case of proven misbehavior where Justice Ganguly, having once committed sexual misbehavior, is showing further adamant behavior, definitely not befitting the holder of this post
16. That what is more is the emergence of the Affidavit of the law intern through Ms Indira Jaisingh, learned Additional Solicitor General who has made public part of this Affidavit, where she narrated how Justice Ganguly offered her his bedroom to drink wine and relax, he wanted her to share his room, consumed alcohol, insisted she do as well and persisted and even put his hand on her back and moved forward to embrace her, a narration through which makes it very obvious that it was a case of extremely disgusting and obnoxious misbehavior on the part of Justice Ganguly.
17. That what is even worse is that even after coming in open of this Affidavit, instead of accepting it gracefully and facing whatever legal and administrative consequences befitting his act and his position, Justice Ganguly has reacted in a most obnoxious manner where he is talking more of technicalities than the facts, saying-“That is supposed to be confidential as it was given before a Supreme Court committee. How can it come out in the open?"
18. That this certainly is the third act of proven misbehavior where instead of any kind of remorse or repentance, justice Ganguly not only continues to hold his post, forgetting the fact that he has been Hon’ble Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, he is even talking like any other accused/criminal, who tries all technical and legal means to save his skin.
19. That in such a situation, with Justice Ganguly being responsible for all the above instances of proved misbehavior, it seems necessary to remove him from the post of the Chairman of the Commission, in the larger public interest for justice and also for the sake of morality, respect and dignity for these highly respected, revered and responsible posts.
20. That hence it is most kindly prayed that the power and authority vested under section 22 of the Protection of Human rights Act may kindly be used to immediately remove Justice A K Ganguly from the post of Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission after having sought the Enquiry report from the Hon’ble CJI which has already enquired into the alleged misbehavior of Justice Ganguly and made definite assertions and conclusions in this regards
Lt No- AT/JudgeAbuse/01 Regards,
Dated- 17/12/2013 Yours,
5/426, Viram Khand,
Dated- 17/12/2013 Yours,
5/426, Viram Khand,