Kolkata, Dec 1, 2013 (Agency)
Even as the nationwide chorus for his resignation continues to grow, a defiant A.K. Ganguly Tuesday refused to step down as the chair of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
"I am not (resigning), that's all," was the former Supreme Court (SC) judge's reply when asked by the media if he will resign as the rights panel chief after being indicted of "unwelcome behaviour" by an apex court judges panel probing the allegation of sexual harassment against him.
Continuing his defiance against the demand for his removal, Ganguly went on to preside over an event organised by the commission to observe World Human Rights Day.
Meanwhile, springing to Ganguly's defence, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee doubted the authority of the Supreme Court in probing the matter.
"I would not say the allegations are mala fide. Its overzealousness (of the probe panel)," Chatterjee told mediapersons on the sidelines of the event.
"I don't understand under what authority they (probe panel) went for it and forthright decided not to touch any matter, what is the outcome," said Chatterjee about the finding of the three-judge panel which indicted Ganguly of the charges, but did not recommend any action against him.
The probe panel cited retirement of Ganguly as an SC judge and the victim not being on the roll of the apex court for not recommending any follow-up action.
Chatterjee said the country will punish Ganguly if he is found guilty.
"Everybody has his honour and respect. Just because somebody is saying something doesn't mean he will have to sacrifice. If proved guilty, the country will punish him," added Chatterjee.
Ever since the sexual harassment accusations against Ganguly became public, the Trinamool Congress has been demanding his resignation with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee writing twice to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking urgent action against him. The Bharatiya Janata Party too now has joined the chorus seeking his removal.
Besides NGOs holding demonstrations, a public interest litigation has also been filed before the Calcutta High Court seeking his removal.