Kolkata: Former Supreme Court judge, Justice A.K. Ganguly, who has been accused of sexual assault by a law intern, resigned on Monday from the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).
Earlier today, Ganguly had distanced himself from a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that was filed in the Supreme Court supporting him.
The PIL was filed by Delhi-based doctor M Padma Narayan Singh in the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to restrain the government from taking any action against Justice Ganguly. But the Supreme Court rejected the petition on Monday.
The petitioner had also sought a quashing of the report in which a three-member panel of Supreme Court judges indicted Justice Ganguly for unwelcome behaviour against the woman law intern.
Commenting on the petition, Justice Ganguly had said that he was not connected and had no idea about the PIL.
"No comment, I have told you. I have no idea. I have nothing to do with it. I am no way connected with it. I have no idea," he said.
The three-judge Supreme Court committee probing the complaint filed by the law intern against Ganguly said that there was prima facie evidence.
The three-judge panel, which heard testimonies submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India, P. Sathasivam, naming Ganguly as the accused.
It is the first time that the Supreme Court has set up an internal inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against a presiding or former judge.
Justice Ganguly also said that he had not filed any petition and had already claimed his innocence.
"I have never filed any PIL. I have no idea of any PIL at all. You are totally wrong in saying that I have filed a PIL. I have nothing to do with this matter," Justice Ganguly also said.
Justice Ganguly is the Chairman of Human Rights Commission in West Bengal and has presided over numerous cases involving crimes against women during his career as a judge.
The intern's allegations created a media furore - with female lawyers, politicians and activists calling for the country's top court to investigate the incident and for the accused judge to be named publicly.
The case is one of a small but growing number in which victims of alleged sexual harassment have come forward to complain about powerful male superiors.
Activists say sexual harassment and abuse by powerful and privileged men is widespread in India, but few women have been willing to talk about it.