Friday, January 10, 2014

The Gangunruly Case

Sexual misconduct of any nature against women or any individual for that matter is a heinous and a highly condemnable act.  Especially sexual misconduct by people in position of power and influence is even more condemnable though unfortunately such incidents are on the rise. Sports-persons of repute, high ranking politicians, high ranking public officials and people from many other walks of life have been found guilty of such acts. 

In recent times India has noticed two such high profile cases almost in succession. First was that of Tarun Tejpal the editor in chief of Tehelka and Justice AK Ganguly the former judge of the Supreme Court of India. My interest gets drawn particularly towards Justice Ganguly’s case due to many interesting facts that I managed to discover amidst the media frenzy and the deafening cry to have his head. I am neither a lawyer nor do I have a legal opinion about the matter. All I wanted to do was present some facts without having to conclude or take any side.

Aug 2010 - Subramanian Swamy files PIL against telecom licenses in Supreme Court - Prashant Bhushan also files a PIL

Characters Involved:
  •  Supreme Court Bench: Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly
  • Accused: A Raja, K, Kanimozhi etc.
  • Who represented whom?
  • Ram Jethmalani argued for Kanimozhi
  • Harish Salve argued for  Telecom Operators
  • Government of India:  Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh
Feb 2012: Bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly cancels 122 telecom licenses and asks for a fresh auction.

Feb 2012: Justice AK Ganguly retires

Dec 2012: The supposed law intern sexual assault takes place

May 2013: ASG Indira Jaisingh on behalf of GOI files a request to review the Feb 2012 ruling by SC 

Nov 2013: Tehelka Editor in Chief Tarun Tejpal gets arrested after information about sexual misconduct leaks out to the media

Nov 2013: Law Intern blogs and indicates sexual misconduct of AK Ganguly 

Dec 2013: Government of India (Congress/UPA) moves Presidential Reference against AK Ganguly

Jan 2014: AK Ganguly resigns from the post of WBHRC

I would end this blog with few statements made by various people in relation to this matter:

Soli Sorabjee : if Justice Ganguly resigned on merely allegations made against him and when he found no merit in them, it would set a "dangerous precedent".

Somnath Chatterjee The manner in which Ganguly had to step down was not only unfair and objectionable but also unconstitutional. He was denied a fair trial and the entire episode smacks of a pre-planned conspiracy. This was done at the behest of some powerful quarters. It is a wrong precedent in our country’s legal system

Subramanian Swamy: Anyone can make allegations. Why should Justice Ganguly resign? There is no FIR. The law intern has only made allegations. Justice Ganguly shouldn't resign on the basis of allegations

Indira Jaising: When a person is holding a position of trust then even on slightest suspicion of misconduct which may amount to crime later, the person concerned should resign immediately

Harish Salve: Our judges are supposed to be worthy of being worshipped. The interns who work under Supreme Court judges consider them as hallowed beings. Now for a person to function in such a situation (when he is an accused) does not do well for himself or to the institution. If he wants he can go on leave. The institutional integrity should be preserved and the WBHRC head must step aside,

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Of Debut Retirement and Death

Years come and years go. Each year leaves an impression on us. We don’t essentially come out of any year the same as we entered it. Every year has some significant events that change us and hence the world around us. I recount some of the key events as per me of 2013 – The Year That Was.


It was a case of obituaries being written much before a birth. Aam Aadmi Party made a spectacular debut in the world of Indian politics by winning unexpected number of seats in the elections of the State of Delhi. While they are still wet behind the ear when it comes to political discourse or administrative skills, however for a party that was launched just 6 months prior to the elections, for a party that everyone dismissed as an ‘also ran’, it was a stupendous success. Of course Aam Aadmi Party’s victory cannot immediately be called as an ‘Aam Aadmi’s’ (Common Man’s) victory, but from being nonexistent to becoming the ruling party in Delhi in 6 months flat is nothing short of a miracle. I hope they succeed through both their success and failure. We need to wait and watch before concluding on this matter. 


Retirement is a very emotional and demanding decision for any individual. To retire from something that one has dedicated one’s whole life to and stop doing that something that has given meaning to one’s life is not an easy task. Most of our identities are closely entangled with what we do for a living, so retirement could be scary. 2013 saw two emotional farewells of two cricketing stalwarts, two greats of the modern era. While both exited on a high by being part of winning teams but their respective retirements stood out in contrast.

Sachin Tendulkar – retired after playing for 24 years for Indian Cricket Team. It was a remarkable career in more ways than one. I don’t remember Sachin not playing or not being part of the team for all these 24 years except when injured, even in the worst calendar year as per his standards he still scored more than many of the other top cricketers. There was a media frenzy much ahead of the last match the man would play and everyone associated with the game or otherwise had something to say about it. 

Jacque Kallis – retired after playing for 18 years for South African Cricket Team. Indeed another remarkable career. The world of cricket has seen many great all-rounders, however as per me none better than Kallis. He was as much a match winning bowler as a match winning batsman. He called it quits on a high. Scored a century and helped his team win in his last match. Has always kept a low profile there wasn’t much hype or media frenzy behind his retirement. He silently became the best all-rounder of all times and silently bade farewell to cricket and world just let him be.


Katha Upanishad says ‘one must understand death in order to understand life’. I feel life is unfair but death can be nothing but fair. The only certainty that everybody could be certain about in Life is Death. What I wanted to recount here are some of the well-known personalities we lost last year:

Nelson Mandela – a Gandhi or Martin Luther King of our times.

Manna Dey: A singer par excellence

Pran: A unparalleled character actor with a rich baritone. Adapted unique mannerism in each movie to make the characters alive and memorable.

Farooq Sheikh: With Deepti Naval and Sai Paranjpe, Farooq formed a team that gave classics like Katha that are difficult to forget

Margret Thatcher: Capitalism and free markets wouldn’t have been what they are today without Thatcher. Thatcher along with Reagon changed the world.

Amar Bose: Man behind BOSE. the company that produces awesome sound systems and equipment

Lalgudi Jayaraman: Carnatic Classical violinist

Shakuntala Devi: Geniuses are always an Enigma. Nonetheless nobody can forget the puzzle books that Shakuntala Devi came out with. At one point of time they were a must for anyone seeking jobs in one of the foremost software company in India.

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Some names get detached from the person and become a property of everyone. Kalashnikov is almost synonymous with machine guns now. 

Rituparno Ghosh: A film maker in the moulds or Satyajit Ray. It is good that he didn’t have to hear Supreme Court of India declaring illegality of certain sexual preferences. 

If there is a soul and if it is at the mercy of me wishing them peace then, may all their souls rest in peace.

That sums up what 2013 was all about. 2014 is upon us and as is the case with time it is linear and unidirectional. Good or Bad whatever memories we carry forward from 2013 we can only hope for a great 2014. One thing is certain that 2014 will be just as uncertain as 2013 or 2012 or …

Happy New Year!!


Random: January 2014