Ganguly quits as  law college faculty

Kolkata :  West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman Ashok Ganguly, who has been indicted for sexually harassing a law intern, on Friday resigned as a guest faculty on the National University of Juridical Sciences, after the teaching institution de-linked itself from him.

Ganguly quits as  law college faculty

In a letter to the NUJS vice chancellor P. Ishwara Bhat, the former Supreme Court judge wrote: “I voluntarily opt out of that position, and do not want to continue as a member of the guest facility and be a burden on NUJS.”

After his indictment by the three-member panel of apex court judges, several faculty members of the university had written to the vice chancellor demanding that he should be removed as one of the guest faculty.

The NUJS on Thursday formally issued a statement saying that Ganguly’s service as guest teacher would no more be availed of till he was absolved of the charges against him. The Union cabinet on Thursday approved the home ministry’s proposal to refer the charges against him to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Other than the allegation of sexual harassment, the cabinet has also referred to the court the issue of Ganguly’s visit to Pakistan and his acceptance of hospitality of a private party there even while he was chairman of the WBHRC.

 Pil seks to shield ganguly

Meanwhile, a petition has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain the Centre from making any attempt to remove Ganguly as Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

The petition in this regard was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, which agreed to hear it on January 6. The petition filed by Delhi resident M Padma Narayan Singh, who is a doctor by profession, has also sought quashing of the complaint on which a three-member panel of apex court judge indicted Justice Ganguly for unwelcome behaviour against the woman intern. The petitioner, who is a senior citizen, alleged that Ganguly has become a victim of conspiracy as he, as an arbitrator, had decided a matter between a prominent football club of Kolkata and the All India Football Federation in which the intern had also participated. The petitioner has also named Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising as one of the respondents in the PIL, accusing her of working relentlessly to get Justice Ganguly arrested unlawfully.

The petition has also criticised politicians across the party lines demanding removal of Ganguly as WBHRC Chairman.

While contending that Ganguly’s act did not fall under sexual harassment, the petition says, “The limitation period for raising complaint under the Sexual Harassment Act 2013 is only three months, since the last act of alleged harassment” and this was not followed in this case.

Arup Chanda

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