Seven months after he was indicted by a Supreme Court committee for “unwelcome conduct of sexual nature” towards a young lawyer who was interning with him in December 2012, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said neither is there adequate material to lodge an FIR against Justice (retired) A K Ganguly, nor is any probe currently underway.
Responding to a letter from BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, the MHA, relying on information from the Delhi Police, said the probe was suspended since the alleged victim failed to cooperate despite repeated requests.
On December 7, after the case was reported in the media, the police asked the woman to record her statement for treating it as a criminal complaint against Ganguly, but she sought time. “The Delhi Police have further informed that despite repeated requests, the woman complainant has not joined the inquiry and hence no further inquiry into the incident of alleged unwelcome behaviour of the former Supreme Court judge was possible,” the MHA said in its reply.
“Delhi Police added that the available material in the public domain on the issue did not disclose sufficient ground to proceed with the filing of the FIR under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” it said, adding that necessary action shall be taken “as and when the complainant comes forward to join the inquiry”.
The MHA also said no probe for Ganguly’s removal was pending since he had resigned as West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) chairman before any reference for removal was initiated by the President.
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Days after a Supreme Court committee held Ganguly prima facie guilty of “unwelcome behaviour” and “unwelcome conduct of sexual nature,” Swamy had written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking for steps to stop the “witch-hunt” against him. Swamy had said it was “extremely important at this juncture to get an investigation completed before any precipitate action is taken merely to make out Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly guilty without an opportunity of being heard”.
However, facing mounting pressure, Ganguly resigned from the WBHRC in January. His decision came close on the heels of the Union Cabinet approving a proposal for sending a presidential reference to the Supreme Court on the issue, which was seen as a step towards his removal as WBHRC chairman.