Presidential Reference: Ball in AG court to work out legalities

The matter has now been referred to Attorney General G E Vahanvati to work out legal details.

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published:December 20, 2013 2:58 am

Government on Thursday appeared to be moving towards making a Presidential Reference for removal of Justice A K Ganguly as head of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission in the wake of his indictment by a Supreme Court committee for “unwelcome behaviour” towards a woman lawyer.

The Law Ministry and the Home Ministry are learnt to be in agreement that prima facie a case can be made out against the former Supreme Court judge,sources said here. The matter has now been referred to Attorney General G E Vahanvati to work out legal details.

The procedure of referring the matter to a senior law officer ensures that the case presented in the Presidential Reference is watertight to withstand the scrutiny of the apex court.

The Home Ministry had recently referred the matter to the Law Ministry.

The move came after President Pranab Mukherjee referred to the Home Ministry a letter by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seeking Ganguly’s removal from the high post following the allegation of sexual harassment against the former judge.

Justice Ganguly has strongly denied the charge and refused to quit his post.

The Presidential Reference to be made to the apex court will first be cleared by the Cabinet before it is sent to the President.

The Protection of Human Rights Act is clear that a chairperson or member of the NHRC or a state human rights commission can only be removed “by order of the President of India on the grounds of proven misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court,on reference being made to it by the President,has,on enquiry…reported that the chairperson or the member,as the case may be,ought on any such ground to be removed”.

SC panel denied me copy of intern’s affidavit,says justice ganguly <\b>

Kolkata: As government mulls the option of making a Presidential Reference for his removal as Chief of WBHRC,Justice A K Ganguly Thursday said the three-judge panel of Supreme Court denied him copy of the affidavit of the law intern who had levelled a sexual harassment allegation against him.“I asked for a copy (of the affidavit). I was denied on the grounds of confidentiality. Normal laws require that the person,whose reputation is at stake,whose honour is at stake,must be given a copy of the allegations on the basis of which he has to respond,” Ganguly told TV channels.Ganguly,who is facing strident demands that he quit as the Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission,said he was asked to go through the affidavit when he appeared before the panel and “respond immediately”. “I was not given the affidavit in advance. When I asked for it it was denied,” he said,adding that “Media is hounding me like a criminal.” Ganguly was indicted by the panel for “unwelcome behaviour” towards a law intern.

State GOVernment should seek presidential reference,says Ex-CJI <\b>

New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India and NHRC Chairperson K G Balakrishnan refused to be drawn into the controversy over the demands for removal of Justice A K Ganguly as Chairman of West Bengal HRC in the wake of allegations of sexual misbehaviour with a law intern. “Justice Ganguly was appointed as the chairman of WBHRC by the West Bengal government and it is the state,which should seek Presidential reference to be moved before the Supreme Court,if required,for appropriate action,” he told reporters on Thursday. To further questions,he said “Since the government is already considering a Presidential reference against Justice Ganguly,it would not be proper to comment on the issue at this stage.” NHRC,in collaboration with Indian Law Institute had organised a day-long workshop for mediapersons on ‘Media and Human Rights: Issues and

Challenges”.

Ganguly should take decision on moral grounds,says manish tewari <\b>

Justice A K Ganguly must consider the nation-wide outrage against him over his “unwelcome behaviour” towards a law intern and take an appropriate decision on moral grounds immediately,Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Friday. “There has been a nation-wide outrage on the issue. It came up before both Houses of Parliament. Taking into account all this,he should take an appropriate decision on moral grounds immediately,” he said.Tewari’s statement came as the government appeared to be moving towards making a Presidential Reference for his removal as the head of the Commission in the wake of his indictment by a Supreme Court panel for his “unwelcome behaviour” towards a law intern. Home Ministry has sought the Law Ministry’s opinion on sending a Presidential Reference to the Supreme Court to probe into the allegations.

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