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Public release of the rape affidavit stuns human rights commission

Publication Date : 17-12-2013


The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) chairman Justice (retired) A K Ganguly, expressed surprise over the affidavit of the intern in the sexual harassment case being put out in the public domain.

"It's very strange that only the intern's version mentioned in the affidavit  has been made public. Have you seen my version?" he asked.

In the same breath Justice Ganguly categorically ruled out stepping down as WBHRC chairman in the teeth of mounting pressure being exerted by different quarters, including political parties in the wake of the "disclosure" of the affidavit.

When  pointed out that the additional solicitor general (ASG) Indira Jaising had gone public with the intern's affidavit, Ganguly said :"These documents are confidential as they were given before a Supreme Court panel. How can these be made public? I am being victimised."

Jaising  retorted by asserting that the affidavit was put out in the public domain and now Justice Ganguly should resign as WBHRC chairman.

She also insisted that the intern had complete knowledge about making the excerpts public. "The intern has given her consent," Jaising claimed.

Responding to Jaising's plea seeking his removal Justice Ganguly said : Every one has freedom of speech".

The ASG said Union law minister Kapil Sibal had also demanded Justice Ganguly's resignation "in the interest of the institution of our country".

Jaising said former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who had rallied behind Justice Ganguly dismissing the demand for his resignation, "should now withdraw his support in the light of the disclosure of the contents of the affidavit."

On the other hand, Derek O'Brien, Trinamul Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha, the issue  of removal of Justice Ganguly would be raised in the RS tomorrow.

Mahua Moitra, Trinamul general secretary, wondered how Justice Ganguly could continue to remain as the WBHRC chairman, when the affidavit clearly pointed towards gross violation of human rights. The party would approach the Centre for taking necessary steps to remove him.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley wrote in his blog:  “ would be fair and proper that the former judge contests this allegation as an ordinary citizen rather than a high functionary.’’



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