Questioning the authority of the Supreme Court panel that probed the sexual harassment charges against retired Supreme Court justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee has said the panel could have been motivated by "jealousy".
The panel, which had recently held an internal inquiry against Ashok Kumar Ganguly following allegations by a lawyer, had indicted and publicly named him, but no further action had been taken. Pressure has since been mounting on Ashok Kumar Ganguly to step down from the post of the chairman of the state human rights commission, but he has repeatedly refused to quit.
"I don’t know under what authority they (the panel) went for it," Somnath Chatterjee said while attending a programme on the World Human Rights Day presided over by Ganguly.
"Forthwith they had decided not to touch any such matter but why did they make exception in this case? And what is the outcome?"
Asked if the panel acted with any kind of mala fide intention to malign Ashok Kumar Ganguly, Chatterjee, a former Supreme Court lawyer, said, "I won’t say mala fide. I think it was over jealousy. I hope the learned judges explain before the nation why they did it."
The comments came on a day the ruling Trinamool Congress upped ante, seeking Ashok Kumar Ganguly’s resignation.
While the party’s national spokesperson Derek O’Brien reiterated that Ashok Kumar Ganguly should resign, stop "mocking" his chair and "cleanse" his office, the matter has also been moved in Rajya Sabha.
Besides, an NGO which had earlier lodged a police complaint against Ganguly held demonstrations in front of the rights’ commission office demanding his resignation.