White Knight Judge of Indian Supreme Court claims false sexual harassment complaint by a law intern

Asok Kumar Ganguly was a Judge on the Supreme Court of India. He was also a big-time white knight. He supported India’s much-misused law against dowry harassment and cruelty to wives, called “section 498a of Indian penal code.” For example, when delivering the keynote address at a seminar on “Negotiating Spaces: Gender Concerns in Conflict Zones’ on Feb 05, 2011,” he said the following:

There is a lot of argument that 498A should be repealed because it is being abused. I am sorry to say that even Supreme Court judges have said it openly in courts. Which law in this country is not abused? This [498A] is a law which empowers women. I am not saying it’s not abused. Just because it empowers women and gives them a negotiating space, [there are demands] that it be repealed. This is male chauvinism.

(As reported by The Hindu)

Ganguly actually believed that women have a right to misuse these criminal laws to negotiate for a very high amount of alimony. Men and their parents, who succumb to such blackmail, often go bankrupt trying to buy peace in a divorce.

He retired in 2013 at the age of 66 and he was appointed as chairperson of State Human Rights Commission of the State of West Bengal.

He then fell into a grave that he dug for other men

30 months after uttering these words about “women’s empowerment” and how it is “male chauvinism” to object to misused laws, he claimed that a young law intern had falsely accused him of sexual harassment. Needless to say, the leaders in the Men’s Rights Movement in India sent directives to all activists not to support him in media. Activists who are fed up with anti-male attitudes in the judiciary wanted to see this judge being tried using the same yardstick that he used on so many other men. Indian MRAs had no sympathy at this professional White Knight. The federal Government forced him to resign by threatening to get a Presidential Reference to sack him.

As NDTV reported:

Former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, who bowed to pressure and quit as the Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission after being indicted for sexual harassment, today said his resignation should not be taken as an admission of guilt.

“It was very difficult for my family members to take it anymore,” he told reporters at his Kolkata home.

In his most detailed defence since the allegations that he sexually harassed a young lawyer surfaced three months ago, Justice Ganguly questioned, “Can I force a glass of wine on a woman? I can’t do it with my wife of 45 years. Forget wine, I can’t force even tea or coffee on anyone.”

The woman said in her statement to the probe panel that in December 2012, the retired judge had forced her to drink wine with him, kissed her arm, said ‘I love you’ and suggested that she share his hotel room.

Commenting that he felt shattered by the allegations, Justice Ganguly said he “wished the intern well” and would not contest her allegations legally. “I will never file a defamation case against a person who is my student; I’d rather go to jail.

Indian Supreme Court judges are known for their traditionalist thinking and insensitivity towards men who face marital problems or false cases of sexual harassment or rape.

Within a month, another Supreme Court judge also got exactly similar allegations and now his name has been released to the media. So, it’s payback time for these white knight judges of Indian Courts. As the Economic Times reports, this time it’s former Supreme Court judge Swatanter Kumar:

The Supreme Court has found itself at the centre of a fresh sexual harassment controversy after one of its former judges, Swatanter Kumar, was accused by an intern of making sexual propositions while in office. Kumar, now retired, has vehemently denied the allegations.

In an affidavit, the intern, then a student of West Bengal National University of Judicial Sciences who was interning with the judge in May-June 2011 and working out of his official residence on Delhi’s Tughlaq Road, accused Kumar of inappropriate physical contact and also seeking to know if she was willing to travel with him and stay in hotel rooms.

Jusice Swatanter Kumar has now threatened to sue some mainstream media channels for defamation. In India, courts often dismiss defamation cases filed on media by men, who are accused of dowry demand, domestic violence, sexual harassment, or rape. But, these judges think a separate yardstick should apply to them.

Times of India reports:

Former Supreme Court Judge and NGT chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar on Saturday sent legal notices to three media organizations demanding apology within 24 hours for publishing and telecasting reports about an intern alleging sexual harassment charges against him.

The legal notice, settled by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, warned that he would initiate both criminal and civil defamation suits if the media organizations — Indian Express, Times Now and CNN-IBN — failed to apologize within the deadline.

One must wonder how many more judges will face the punishments they have meted out to others with impunity. It is difficult to find any sympathy for them, as they are hoisted with their own petards.

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