New Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed three-judge panel that probed the alleged sexual harassment incident involving a legal intern by one of its recently-retired judges has submitted its report to Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam.
The committee, in its report, said that the victim had identified the former Supreme Court judge as Justice A.K. Ganguly.
Justice Ganguly, reacting to reports that he was named as the judge behind the alleged harassment, said on Friday that he was “shocked and shattered”.
He said: “I deny all charges. I am shocked and shattered. The intern was like a child to me. The intern has worked with me. She came to my house on a number of occasions in connection with work. She has never raised the issue with me. When I was in Delhi, she was in Delhi. I did not force her to come to me, she had dinner with me, she had the liberty to leave. She should have left if she felt uncomfortable.”
Shocked, shattered, says Ganguly
Justice A.K. Ganguly, who retired from the Supreme Court after handling a number of high-profile cases and has been accused by a young woman intern of sexual harassment, on Friday strongly denied the charge, but stated that he is “shocked and shattered” by the development.
The former Supreme Court said on Friday, “I am not ashamed of anything. If this trend continues, it would be difficult for upright judges to work in the Supreme Court.”
He also said it was wrong to compare this case with that of Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, who faces arrest for having molested a woman employee. “I am denying everything. I have told the committee that all the allegations levelled by the intern are wrong. I don't know how such allegations have been levelled against me,” he was quoted as saying by a news agency.
A Supreme Court panel, that held seven meetings on the matter, has recorded Justice Ganguly’s statement, a court official said.
“The statement of the law intern was recorded. She also submitted three affidavits.
“The statement of Justice A.K. Ganguly (Retd.) has also been recorded by the committee. The committee has submitted its report to the CJI on November 28,” the official said.
He did not, however, give any details of the findings of the committee, that comprised Justices R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu and Ranjana Prakash Desai, that was set up by the CJI on November 12.
Justice Ganguly has said that the intern had not raised any sexual harassment issue with him, he said, adding that he had not done any physical harm to her.
The former judge said the intern worked with him though she was not officially allocated to him. She came in the place of another intern who had gone abroad after marriage. “I never put up a poster. She came on her own.”
Justice Ganguly was elevated to the Supreme Court on December 17, 2008, and he retired on February 3, 2012.
He is now head of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. The intern, in a recent blog, had accused the retired judge of having sexually harassed her in a hotel room in December last year, when the nation was grappling with the horrific gangrape of a 23-year-old woman here.