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Intern harassment: Former DU law prof questions SC panel jurisdiction

india Updated: Nov 29, 2013 23:17 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash
Hindustan Times
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A former Delhi University law professor has questioned the Supreme Court-appointed three-judge panel's jurisdiction to look into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by a former law intern against Justice (retd) AK Ganguly.

The three-judge SC panel submitted its report on the alleged sexual harassment of the woman at a hotel in New Delhi in December 2012 to Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam on Thursday.

Prof SN Singh, who has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police seeking a probe into the allegations, told HT on Friday, "The Supreme Court has only delayed the matter further by constituting the committee, which has no jurisdiction in the matter."

He added Justice Ganguly had retired when the alleged instance of sexual harassment took place in December 2012.

Prof Singh said, "The Supreme Court can initiate a probe only against a sitting judge for misbehaviour or misconduct on a reference made to it by either House of Parliament for removal of the judge."

However, he added, "Now that the committee has submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India, it should be made public and people should know the truth."

The former Dean of Delhi University's Faculty of Law insisted the police must investigate the matter after registering an FIR. The police could take the help of the SC panel's report, he added.

The intern was a law student at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata when she was allegedly sexually harassed.

She wrote about her experience in a blog on November 6, levelling the accusation against a recently retired SC judge. The woman, who works with an NGO now, did not name him.

On November 12, the CJI set up the three-judge panel to look into her allegations.

Prof Singh filed his complaint at the Tilak Marg police station two days later. In his complaint, he pointed out that apart from the alleged sexual harassment of the intern by the former SC judge, three more girls were also reportedly sexually harassed by the same person and four others faced harassment from other persons.

Her statement disclosed an offence of outraging modesty of a woman under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, he added.