Putting an end to controversy, former Supreme Court Justice A K Ganguly resigned as a Chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. Justice Ganguly put in his papers during his half-hour meeting with West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan.
Justice Ganguly had reached Kolkata early on Monday morning after spending two days in Delhi and seeking appointment with the President of India, which according to sources had not materialised.
By resigning from the WBHRC post, Justice Ganguly has avoided facing trial, which would have decided whether he could continue in the post, as the Centre had recommended Presidential reference to the Supreme Court to conduct a probe into the issue. The presidential reference now won’t hold much significance, said legal experts, but pointed out that Ganguly’s resignation will not have any bearing on the criminal investigation of the sexual harassment allegations levelled against him by a law intern.
Justice Ganguly had also in a recent conversation with former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee conveyed his intention to resign as chairman of WBHRC. The former AG had reportedly told Ganguly that it was a wise decision.
Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, who has also sought his resignation, said, “He has done the right thing. His resignation should have come earlier. I’m happy that the dignity of the Human Rights Commission office is maintained.”
In 2011, even Calcutta High Court Justice Soumitra Sen resigned when impeachment proceedings against him were taking place in both houses of Parliament. As the Rajya Sabha had decided that he (Sen) should not continue as a judge, he decided not to go to the Lok Sabha, and put in his papers instead.
The Lok Sabha, therefore, dropped the impeachment proceedings against him because he had resigned.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to entertain two PILs on Justice Ganguly, one seeking to acquit him and the other to prosecute him.