The sexual harassment charge against a former Indian Supreme Court judge has taken a new twist, with the claim that he is being targeted by "powerful interests" for giving verdicts against corporates in the past.
AK Ganguly has been under pressure to resign as chief of West Bengal state human rights commission following his indictment by the apex court panel of sexual misbehaviour with a law intern.
Pressure on the former judge increased when an affidavit by the intern was leaked to the media giving graphic details of how Ganguly allegedly tried to force himself on her.
Denying sexual misbehaviour for the first time since he came under the scanner, Ganguly in a letter to India’s Supreme Court Chief Justice P Sathasivam said the allegations were revenge for delivering judgements against "powerful interests" when he was a sitting judge of the top court.
Among other rulings, Ganguly was one of the two judges who cancelled 122 mobile network licences in 2008 on finding that they had been allotted in a non-transparent manner, reports said.
Objection to court panel
The former judge also objected to the apex court panel which indicted him on charges of sexual misbehaviour, and questioned the rationale behind setting up such a panel.
In his letter, Ganguly also expressed his discomfiture in the reason and the manner of its constitution.
The intern had alleged that on December 24 last year when she assisted the judge in an inquiry he attempted to physically get close to her and wanted her to stay on in the hotel room where they were working at around 9pm local time. She managed to get away and later mentioned the incident in the blog of a law journal.
On Tuesday, the law intern hit back at Ganguly for his denial and said attempts were being made to obfuscate the issue to escape responsibility and accountability, reports quoting her said.
She also reportedly hinted that she might formally approach the police and file a complaint against the retired judge.
The allegations against Ganguly has received widespread media coverage as it comes at a time when the country is in outrage over several incidents of sexual assaults following the gang-rape and subsequent death of a medical student in Delhi last December.
More recently, high-profile investigative journalist and Editor of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal, was jailed for sexually assaulting a junior colleague.
Source: Al Jazeera