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Asok Kumar Ganguly quits as Bengal rights panel chief

Kolkata: Bowing to growing pressure following allegations of sexual assault levelled against him by a law intern, Justice (retd) A.K. Ganguly Monday stepped down from the post of chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights
IANS January 07, 2014 12:16 IST
IANS
Kolkata: Bowing to growing pressure following allegations of sexual assault levelled against him by a law intern, Justice (retd) A.K. Ganguly Monday stepped down from the post of chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

The former Supreme Court judge drove to the Raj Bhavan here and handed over his resignation letter to Governor M. K. Narayanan during a 45-minute meeting, sources in the know said on condition of anonymity.

The resignation came hours after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking to restrain the government from proceeding against Ganguly. Ganguly, however, claimed he had "nothing to do" with the public interest litigation.

Top legal and political circles welcomed Ganguly's decision to quit, but said he should have done so earlier.

The union cabinet had already cleared the home ministry's proposal for a presidential reference to the Supreme Court for a probe into the allegations.

The proposal was being sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, for him to forward to the chief justice of India seeking a probe into the issue.

However, Ganguly's resignation from the human rights panel has rendered the reference infructuous, legal sources said.

The intern has alleged that Ganguly sexually harassed her at a five star hotel in Delhi in December 2012.

Ganguly has repeatedly denied the accusation and on Dec 23 wrote to the Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, claiming there was a "concerted effort" to "tarnish his image" for giving judgements against "powerful quarters".