The Union cabinet, on Thursday, recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee to send a reference to the Supreme Court for seeking a probe into allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment levelled against Justice AK Ganguly, head of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).
The cabinet approved the home ministry’s proposal that listed out three major allegations against the former Supreme Court judge. If the probe finds him guilty, Ganguly will be removed as head of WBHRC.
In his response to the cabinet decision, Ganguly said he has not yet decided whether to quit. “I don’t want to comment. I need some time to decide,” he said.
The home ministry, in its cabinet note had referred to a letter from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, in which she cited Ganguly’s indictment by a three-judge panel of the SC on allegations of sexual harassment by a law intern.
Banerjee’s letter also mentioned that Ganguly had accepted payments for arbitration proceedings conducted by him while he was the state human rights chief, which according to her amounted to an offence under the human rights law of 1993.
The home ministry also included allegation of Ganguly having travelled to Pakistan in June 2013 without taking the state governor’s permission, which was mandatory according to the rules.
Further, his air tickets were provided by a private organisation and being a public servant, Ganguly also violated the law by accepting foreign hospitality in contravention of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act.