‘I have not done anything to feel ashamed. There are no charges against me, but only allegations.’
Former Supreme Court judge Ashok Kumar Ganguly maintains his defiant stand on the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by a law intern in an interview to CNN-IBN. Excerpts:
On being ashamed of the incident:
I have not done anything to feel ashamed.
I stepped down for my family's happiness, and the dignity and honour of the humans rights commission.
My family and I have suffered a lot because of theses allegations. I have resigned in disgust.
On the allegations:
Allegations were made by the intern after 11 months…. The intern never named me in her blog.
Why was an exception made in my case by the Supreme Court? There are no charges against me, but only allegations. A conspiracy was hatched against me.
On the Supreme Court panel:
The intern never complained to the SC, then why was a panel formed? I appeared before the court in good faith. The SC panel acted without jurisdiction and basis against me. I am questioning the role of my fellow judges in the SC.
There are question marks over why the SC panel was formed. I am questioning the role of my fellow judges in the SC.
I was not given a fair chance by the SC panel.
On treatment by the SC:
I was confronted with a lengthy affidavit. I asked for a copy of the allegations. I was at the SC for two hours. My version has been distorted by the media.
On sharing a glass of wine with the intern:
I never abused my power. She could have left the room if she was feeling unwell.
No person can be forced to drink wine if the person doesn't want to. I am shattered by the nature of the complaint.
On flouting Vishaka guidelines:
The Vishaka guidelines don't apply in the case. The intern was not working with me. The alleged incident did not happen at a work place.
On using his power to silence the intern:
I did not abuse my power. I never harmed the intern. There is no question of trauma; I never threatened her.
On the Union cabinet note against him:
The Union Cabinet did not apply its mind. It took a hasty decision.
On West Bengal government:
My version has been totally ignored. The assembly, the CM of West Bengal, without naming me cast serious aspersions against me. They were very uncomfortable with me as the West Bengal Human Rights Commission chief.
On his visit to Pakistan:
It is his fundamental right. A retired judge needs no permission to visit a foreign country.
Image: TV grab on Justice A K Ganguly