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Law intern sexual harassment case: Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising says due process set in motion

Thursday, 2 January 2014 - 9:52pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, who had questioned A K Ganguly's continuance as head of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission after his indictment by an apex court panel in a sexual harassment case, today termed as "very significant" the cabinet nod on Presidential Reference for removal of the former SC judge.

The senior woman law officer welcomed the cabinet decision, saying "due process has been set in motion".

"I think it's very significant because the issue is of great public importance and that is the behaviour of a judge towards women, specially when it happens to be a retired supreme court judge and currently heading WBHRC," she said.

"I have been saying repeatedly, women rights are human rights, and such a person can't occupy the position. So having set the procedure into motion we still have to wait and see," she said, adding it was "bit premature" for her to discuss at this stage as the President still has to make a reference.

However, she said "the significance of this I think is that due process has been set on motion and will be followed" and even Ganguly and his supporters were also talking about following the due process which has been set on motion.

"I welcome this step for the reason that Justice Ganguly has been saying that he deserves to have his day in court that a due process will have to be followed. Even his supporters have been saying that due process is required to be followed.

"The significance of this I think that due process has been set on motion and will be followed," she said immediately after the Union cabinet cleared the proposal for presidential reference for Ganguly's removal.

Jaisingh expressed hope that since the President goes by the advise of the Union Cabinet, he will make the reference to the apex court for removal of Ganguly, who has been indicted by three-judge panel for his alleged "misbehaviour" against a woman intern.

"The decision of the cabinet will go to the President and as I see it the President is normally bound by the advise of the cabinet," she said adding that the President "then makes the Reference to the Supreme Court of India, charges will be framed of "misbehaviour", thereafter the procedure prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court of India for Article 317 contain a parallel where an inquiry has to be conducted".

"Notice will have to be issued, of course to him without any doubt," she stressed.

Attorney General of India would be asked to assist the court and thereafter, evidence will be laid on charges which are framed.

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