Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Tuesday described as "pre-planned" the way retired judge A.K. Ganguly was "forced to step down" as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission and said the entire episode was "sad and a matter of concern".
Reacting strongly, Chatterjee, a noted barrister, said: "The way in which the situation was created to force him to step down is highly objectionable, illegal and unconstitutional."
Bowing to growing pressure following allegations of sexual assault leveled by a law intern, Ganguly Monday stepped down from the post of chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. His resignation has been accepted by Governor M.K. Narayanan.
Caling Ganguly an "able judge", Chatterjee said "whatever happened is sad and regretful and a matter of concern".
"It seems everything was pre-planned to force him to quit the post for the benefit of some. Who arranged for the press conference (of a legal luminary in Kolkata)? There is a law which has to be followed in such matters. But it was not adhered to.
"The person who has worked so efficiently as a judge, and whose behaviour has always been beyond reproach, has been treated so shabbily without trial, without being proven guilty. In law, everybody is deemed innocent till proved guilty. But he did not get justice".
"There is now suspicion about the existence of the rule of law in this country," said Chatterjee.