Attorney general GE Vahanvati on Friday told the government there was prima facie proof to start the procedure for removal of Justice AK Ganguly as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
The opinion of the government’s senior-most legal officer paves the way for a presidential reference to Supreme Court early next week. This will request the court to inquire into the sexual harassment charge levelled at Ganguly by a former law intern.
Earlier, an inquiry panel of SC judges had in its report referred to the intern's charges of “unwelcome behavior” and “conduct of a sexual nature” but the court had decided not to pursue the case as Ganguly was already retired at the time of the incident.
Ganguly has steadfastly rejected the charges and refused to step down.
“I have given my opinion to the government that there is prima facie evidence against Justice Ganguly to put in motion his removal procedure,” Vahanvati told HT.
Read: Delhi Police acting as per law in Justice Ganguly case, says Bassi
Under the Protection of Human Rights Act, a human rights commission chairman can be sacked if a Supreme Court inquiry set up at the President’s request makes out a case for “proved misbehaviour or incapacity”.
Ganguly was appointed to the panel for five years in April 2012 – two months after his retirement and eight months before he allegedly molested the intern in a Delhi hotel. The woman, now a lawyer, spoke out in a blog post last month.
Recently, additional solicitor general Indra Jaising put the woman’s affidavit detailing the incident in public domain.
Read: Govt seeks A-G help on Justice Ganguly issue
Video: AK Ganguly insulting other judges, says Shivanand Tiwari