Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal smells a ‘deep conspiracy’ in the chargesheet filed against her by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday, alleging irregularities in recruitment in the commission.

This comes close on the heels of her proposed raid at the brothels on GB Road to locate girls trafficked in the red light area from across the country.

File image of DCW chief Swati Maliwal. PTI

File image of DCW chief Swati Maliwal. PTI

“On Thursday, we (DCW) will raid the brothels at GB Road to find out the trafficked girls and the culprits behind this trafficking. We have asked the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD) to shut the hidden cells in the brothels. This chargesheet is a tool to intimidate us and prevent us from working,” Maliwal told Firstpost.

Maliwal is no stranger to such charges. Just three months ago (on 20 September), an FIR was filed by the ACB against her on the complaints made by her predecessor — former DCW chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh that Maliwal appointed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers in plum posts without following due procedure.

What the latest chargesheet is about

The latest chargesheet was filed before the special ACB judge at Tis Hazari Court against Maliwal for the alleged offences under section 13 (criminal misconduct by public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. A chargesheet has been filed in the court in connection with alleged irregularities in the appointment of 85 AAP workers in the DCW. The ACB has taken up the probe on a complaint by former DCW chief, whereby she had claimed that 85 people got jobs ‘without requisite credentials’.

Why Maliwal smells a conspiracy

“There is a deep rooted conspiracy behind this chargesheet. Earlier, the ACB filed an FIR against me on the basis of a false charge. Now, the ACB has chargesheeted me because the commission asked the Delhi lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung why he didn’t conduct any meetings with us during the past year. It’s the first time that the Delhi High Court has given two notices to the L-G; so he’s using the ACB as a tool to intimidate and scare us,” claimed Maliwal.

Maliwal’s counter-allegations

– “Former DCW chief spent Rs 90 lakh in a single day, without showing any work against the spending. We gave a 128-page document of evidence to the ACB, but they didn’t even file our complaint, forget an FIR.”
– “Barkha Shukla Singh, who was then a Congress MLA, dealt with only one case in her eight-year tenure; whereas we have handled nearly 12,000 cases.”
– “Singh had obliged those whom the then chief minister Sheila Dikshit had referred.”
– “Despite six rapes committed in Delhi per day, the lieutenant-governor didn’t hold any meeting with the DCW.”
– “The lieutenant-governor appointed IAS officer Dilraj Kaur, secretary (Social Welfare and Women & Child Development) as DCW’s member secretary — this is unconstitutional, because there’s already an officiating member secretary functioning in the commission. Kaur has stopped the salary payments of 90 staffers for the past three months.”

Maliwal’s clarification

“We followed the same procedure in appointing new volunteers, as followed by our predecessor. Nothing wrong has been done. Against the allocated budget of Rs 9 crore, we’ve spent only Rs 3.5 crore; but three audits have been conducted on us to find out whether there had been any misappropriation.”

“I’ve worked with utmost honesty and if charges of corruption — even amounting to a single rupee — is proved against me, I’ll give up my life.”

What ACB chief says

“We’ve chargesheeted her because she made illegal appointments in the commission. They have favoured AAP workers,” ACB chief MK Meena reportedly told the media.

First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 08:14 IST

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DCW chief Swati Maliwal smells ‘conspiracy’ in ACB chargesheet against her