Pressure is mounting for action against former Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly in the sexual harassment case with demands that the matter should be pursued and he should quit the post of West Bengal State Human Rights Commission Chairman.
Law Minister Kapil Sibal questioned the decision of the Supreme Court of not taking further action against Justice Ganguly who has been indicted in a case of sexual harassment, saying the issue cannot be "brushed under the carpet" just because he has retired.
Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said if the charge against the retired judge is true, he should quit as head of the West Bengal State Human Rights Commission and "whatever appropriate action is required should take place."
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also written to President Pranab Mukherjee asking him to urgently take "appropriate action" against Ganguly over the "grave misconduct" allegations levelled by a young woman law intern.
A Supreme Court committee of three judges yesterday indicted Ganguly for his "unwelcome behaviour" and "conduct of sexual nature" towards the law intern. Ganguly has strongly denied the charge.
Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam, however, said "no further follow up action is required by this Court" in view of the fact that Justice Ganguly had demitted office on the day of the incident (Dec 24 last year). "I am a little disappointed because the institution which has found that sexual overtures were made, was to have taken the matter forward," Sibal told reporters here.
The Law Minister said in his view, prima facie the apex court has "brushed it under the carpet, in a sense that they have said that they have nothing to do with the matter because he is no longer a judge."
"Well, if he was no longer a judge, then they should not have set up the inquiry. Having come to a conclusion, they cannot give that reason to say they won't take it forward." Sibal said he was hoping that the SC would take the matter on the judicial side and treat this matter like they treat the matter of any ordinary citizen. "After all, those who are infallible are also ordinary mortals. And if they are found to have violated, especially the court which always protects the dignity of individuals specially of women, should not be seen to be wanting as they are in this case," he said in unusually strong remarks.
He said just as the SC is monitoring cases of corruption, it should be monitoring the cases of this nature, "especially when it comes to dignity of women."