Alaska Route 1

December 17, 2013 by  

Alaska Route 1, As Retired Justice A.K. Ganguly refuses to resign as the chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, the West Bengal government is ready to take the long legal route for his removal.

Ganguly has been accused by a former law intern of sexual harassment.

Speaking to Gulf News, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “A person may not have conscience and misuse the chair for personal protection.”

Banerjee has already written to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee three times seeking the former judge’s removal. Along with her party colleagues, she has been vocal about the issue in Parliament. Her colleagues say they do not believe that her actions against Ganguly are due to the serious differences between them in the past.

“It is my government who appointed him to that chair because we believes that as a judge he did a good job. But that does not give him the right to sexually assault a woman. It seems he did not understand the value of the chair,” Banerjee said.

Sources said Banerjee met President Mukherjee during her recent visit to New Delhi and asked for Ganguly’s urgent removal and the President will make his recommendation to federal government very soon.

However, legal officers have pointed out that the procedure prescribed under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, for the removal of the chairman or a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) or a State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is rather cumbersome.

According to the NHRC Act, the NHRC/SHRC chairman or a member can be removed from his office by the President on the grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

But the President has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court, which has to hold an inquiry into the allegations against the NHRC/SHRC member in question. It is only when such an inquiry has indicted the NHRC/SHRC member for misbehaviour or incapacity, that the removal can take place.

“The union cabinet has to take a decision and then the President has to make a reference to the Supreme Court for in inquiry as required under the act,” said a senior counsel of the Supreme Court.

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