Union law minister Kapil Sibal has deftly shifted the onus of taking action against justice AK Ganguly, chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, to the Supreme Court.
“Waiting to see when and how the Supreme Court rises to the occasion to deal with Justice Ganguly,” Sibal tweeted.
The minister was not merely asking the apex court to intervene. He was asking the court to live up to its reputation as the custodian of justice. It reflects the cold vibes between the executive and higher judiciary, especially between the UPA II government and the Supreme Court.
The court has put the UPA II government in the dock on more than one occasion in the last four-and-a-half years including the 2G spectrum allocation and on coal block allocation issue.
The court had rapped the government on the knuckles as it described the investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), as a “caged parrot”, indirectly blaming the government for not allowing the CBI to function fairly and freely.
As the minister for telecom, Sibal and the government have been chafing at the Supreme Court direction about the minimum reserve price for the re-auctioning of 2G spectrum, and the government has been less than successful in finding any takers under the new conditions. The government’s unease, and even irritation, over the court’s oversight is no secret.
The case of Ganguly comes as an embarrassment to the Supreme Court because he has been a former judge at the highest court of the land, and a three-judge panel of the court found prima facie case while dealing with the complaint of the intern about his “unwelcome behaviour” towards on December 24, 2012 at a hotel in the national capital.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had also argued that the Supreme Court could have proceeded against the former brother judge like it would against any other citizen. At the same time, Jaitley had said that Ganguly should quit on his own.