New Delhi: Denying any sexual harassment of a young woman law intern, former Supreme Court judge Justice A K Ganguly on Friday said he was "shocked and shattered" by the charges against him.
"I am denying everything. I have told the committee that all the allegations levelled by the intern are wrong. I don't know how such allegations have been levelled against me," he said.
He was giving his reaction after an apex court official released a statement that Justice Ganguly had recorded his statement before a three-judge committee that went into the intern's allegations and has submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India.
The apex court official statement said Justice Ganguly had recorded his statement to the three-judge committee headed by Justice R M Lodha. The report was handed over to CJI Justice P Sathasivam on Thursday.
"I totally deny the allegations. I am a victim of situations," he told television channels.
"I am not ashamed of anything," he said in reply to a question in regard to the alleged episode which came out in public domain after the intern spoke about in a legal portal earlier this month.
He said the charges against him were totally wrong. The girl had not raised any sexual harassment issue with him, he said, adding that he had not done any physical harm to her.
The former judge said the intern worked with him though she was not officially allocated to him. She came in the place of another intern who had gone abroad after marriage. "I never put up a poster. She came on her own."
He said the girl had come to his house on a number of occasions in connection with the work.
Asked about the charge that he had asked her to come to a hotel room, Justice Ganguly said he was in Delhi at that point of time in connection with work and she was also in Delhi.
"I know what she has said. The question is that when I was in Delhi she was also in Delhi. She came on her own to my...," he said.
"If anybody feels uncomfortable to work with me she was free to leave," he said, adding that there was inconsistency that she has respect for him and there was no rancour.
He said that the intern was like his child and he treated her that way.
Asked if he was worried whether the three-judge committee will pass strictures against him, he said, "I don't know what kind of strictures will be there."
To another question if he felt that the committee could have preconceived notions about him, he said,"I am not saying anything."
Asked whether the allegations have cast a shadow on him, he said, he has faith in people and the people will judge him by his "conduct" and by his judicial work.
Justice Ganguly, who demitted office on February 12 last year, said that if this trend continues it will be difficult for the upright judges to continue to work.
"I have worked with several interns in my life, a large number of them and I treat them like my children. They are all well placed in several places in their lives and nobody has made such allegations. I am shocked and shattered."
He said that his case be not compared with that of Tarun Tejpal. "Don't compare this case with Tejpal. Please," he told to a television channel.
To a question if asked to prove ..., Justice Ganguly shot back "how can I prove the negative."
The intern had earlier this month told a legal news portal that a "recently retired" judge with whom she was working earlier had sexually harassed.
Hit by the allegation, the Supreme Court constituted the three-judge committee to go into the charge of the intern.
Justice Ganguly was elevated to Supreme Court on December 17, 2008 and demitted office on February 3, 2012.
The intern, in a blog, had accused the retired judge of having misbehaved with her in a hotel room last December when the nation was grappling with the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in the national capital.
On November 18, the intern appeared before the panel and gave details of the incident and on November 21, she had sent certain applications and affidavits to the panel.
While setting up the panel on November 12, Justice Sathasivam had observed that he was concerned as head of the institution (judiciary).
"In the cases of sexual harassment, we cannot take it lightly," the CJI had said.
The young woman intern had first come out in public by writing her experience and ordeal in a blog of NGO 'Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment', with which she has been working.
She has also got support and solidarity from her employer NGO.