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Delhi Police asks law intern to record statement

December 06, 2013 17:15 IST

With the Supreme Court washing its hands off the issue, the Delhi Police on Friday asked the woman law intern to record her statement in the sexual harassment complaint she had made against retired Justice A K Ganguly who has been indicted by an apex court panel.

"We have sent an email to her and we are waiting for her response...We have requested her to indicate the time and place where her statement can be recorded," Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) M K Meena told reporters in Delhi.

A Delhi Police statement said it was awaiting her version of the incident.

Earlier, former Delhi University Professor S N Singh of the law faculty had given a written complaint to the Station House Officer of Tilak Marg police station to register an FIR in this regard.

"Please treat this communication to lodge an FIR for sexual assault of (the victim) and others which is a cognisable offence under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A and 354-B and the other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code," the Professor had said in his complaint.

The National Commission of Women today wrote a fresh letter to Delhi Police asking it lodge a formal complaint against the judge in the light of the indictment by the apex court panel. It has also issued notice to Justice Ganguly on the issue asking why action should not be taken against him.

A Committee of three judges of the Supreme Court had indicted Justice Ganguly for "unwelcome behaviour" and "conduct of sexual nature" towards the intern, prompting demands that action under criminal law should be initiated against him.

Chief Justice of India Justice P Sathasivam had on Thursday explained that since Justice Ganguly was not a serving judge at the time of the incident, no further follow up action was required by the Supreme Court.

Justice Ganguly, who retired from the apex court more than a year ago and currently heads the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, was accused by the intern of sexually harassing her in a hotel room in Delhi last year. The judge strongly denied the charge.

Justice Ganguly refused to comment on the growing demand for his resignation from the post of West Bengal Human Rights Commission Chairman in the wake of his indictment by the Supreme Court panel.

"Don't disturb me...Don't disturb me. I have tolerated enough," a visibly angry Ganguly told reporters in Kolkata when he stepped out of his house.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee asking him to take "appropriate action" urgently against the "grave misconduct" of the former Supreme Court Judge.

In Delhi, Law Minister Kapil Sibal questioned the decision of the Supreme Court of not taking further action against the judge, saying the issue cannot be "brushed under the carpet".

"I am a little disappointed because the institution which has found that sexual overtures were made, was to have taken the matter forward," he said.

He said in his view, prima facie the apex court has "brushed it under the carpet, in a sense that they have said that they have nothing to do with the matter because he is no longer a judge.

"Well, if he was no longer a judge, then they should not have set up the inquiry. Having come to a conclusion, they cannot give that reason to say they won't take it forward," he said in unusually strong remarks.

Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said those occupying high offices must step down, whether guilty or not, as it only increases their moral stature.

"The accusation of wrong behaviour, to put it mildly is the same whether you are serving or you are a retired person. The accusation does not change," she said when asked about the issue.

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