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Sexual assault case: NUJS faculty demands dissociation from Justice Ganguly

Justice Ganguly has been associated with the university as an honorary professor for a long time.

In another blow to retired Supreme Court justice and chairman of WBHRC Ashok Ganguly,a dozen faculty members on Wednesday appealed to the executive council of premier National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) to dissociate them from Justice Ganguly in all forms. Justice Ganguly has been associated with the university as an honorary professor for a long time.

Prof Ruchira Goswami,spokesperson of NUJS and a faculty member said,“In the statement we made two demands. One is complete dissociation from Justice Ganguly until he is exonerated from the charges and another is the executive council should give priority to this process in the next meeting.”

“Since the university is closed now,we did not get any official correspondence. But we have spoken to our VC,prof Iswar Bhat. And he has agreed to our demand saying that the authority has already started the procedure. Though the official notice will be issued following the council meeting,” added Prof Goswami.

A team of twelve faculty members of NUJS wrote in the same blog where the law intern mentioned about the alleged sexual harassment with her. A statement by the faculty members said,“considering the nature of allegations,and noting that the former judge was an honorary professor of NUJS at the time of incident,we feel that his continued association with our institution undermines the ideals of NUJS,an institution that has always strived to teach and foster justice,including gender justice.”

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“We believe that the position of a Professor is that of trust,and requires that such person be above reproach,especially above allegations of misbehaviour with students,particularly when such allegations have been found to have prima facie merit by a high level committee. Given that the former judge continues to remain an honorary professor at NUJS,we request the NUJS administration to take immediate steps to see to it that necessary action is initiated against the former judge,” the statement said.

When contacted Justice Ganguly said,“I do not have an idea about such appeal made by the faculty members. I am associated with the university as guest lecturer. I have not received any intimation from the university authority as of now.”

The faculty members further added that until Justice Ganguly is exonerated from all charges,he should not be there in the list of honorary professor.

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“Till he is exonerated from all the charges leveled by the law intern,the University should,at the very least,dissociate itself from him. We must clarify here that we respect the right of the former judge and all other parties to pursue appropriate legal remedies and defend themselves as per due process of law,” said the statement.

In the statement,the faculty members also protested against the letter justice Ganguly wrote to the CJI in which he had mentioned that he was being victimized.

“We also note with concern the unwarranted statements from several quarters attributing political motives to Stella’s blog posts and deposition. We are particularly appalled at the insinuation by the retired judge that Stella is a political pawn and strongly condemn this character assassination. We also condemn all other statements that attempt to politicize the issue. Such statements are deeply disrespectful to Stella and trivialize her experience. These insinuations are also symptomatic of the manner in which issues of gender and power are turned into partisan political contests and we call upon all to resist such attempt,” the statement said.

First published on: 25-12-2013 at 09:33:59 pm
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