Law intern case: SC panel submits report; former judge refutes charges

A committee appointed by the Supreme Court to probe allegations of sexual harassment levelled by a woman lawyer against a recently-retired judge, on Friday submitted its reports to the Chief Justice of India.

The SC panel has identified the judge as AK Ganguly and has recorded his statement, reports said on Friday.

The woman lawyer, who is currently working with an NGO, had alleged sexual harassment by the judge during her internship with him during her last semester of the LLB course at the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata.

Writing a blog on the web site `Legally India', she had said that the SC judge misbehaved with her in a Delhi hotel room last December when the capital was in the grip of protests over fatal gang-rape of a paramedical student.

Justice Ganguly, however, refuted the allegations while speaking to new channel CNN-IBN.

"I am shocked and shattered by the allegations against me. I totally deny the allegations and I am a victim of situations," Ganguly told CNN-IBN.

"I treated her like a child. I am not ashamed of anything," Ganguly said.

He said the intern did work with him but had not raised this issue before. He also said he has not spoken with her since, and when he tried to call her she did not respond.

"I was not given a chance to present my case properly by the panel," he said.

The committee comprising Justice RM Lodha, Justice HL Dattu and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai completed the probe in about two week's time after the complainant appeared before the panel for the first time on 18 November.

Later, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the woman lawyer protested that she had to constantly justify that she was not lying and that she felt humiliated while appearing before the apex court's three-member probe panel.

The lawyer said that it took her time to come to terms with the fact that she had been assaulted.

She also said that when she appears before the SC panel, she feels she is "being looked at with suspicious eyes".

"It's ironic I – being a lawyer – say this, but I don't think Indian law, or our legal system for that matter, is equipped enough to sensitively deal with crimes against women," she said.

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam constituted the panel on 12 November, a day after the allegations were highlighted in a section of the media.

"In the cases of sexual harassment, we cannot take it lightly," the CJI had said after attorney general GE Vahanvati brought it to the court's notice.