Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal on Thursday alleged that the ACB raid at her office was due to the “extensive work” done by the women’s body since she took over last year.
She also alleged that former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh in her nine-year long tenure took up just a single case whereas under her more than 400 cases had been taken up in a single year.
“The ACB (anti-corruption branch) had come to the office of the DCW and we were being questioned for several hours,” Maliwal told reporters.
“Barkha Shukla Singh in her nine-year-long career just took up only one case; so we want to know that till today why no questions have been raised with her?” Maliwal asked.
She also alleged that Barkha Shukla Singh had been drawing salary from both places, one as legislator and another as chief of DCW.
“Why didn’t she work in her long nine-year tenure? Why did she complete only one case? Isn’t it corruption?” she asked.
Maliwal’s remarks came after the office of the DCW was raided by ACB sleuths on Thursday morning following a complaint by Delhi Congress leader Barkha Shukla Singh alleging that it was indulging in illegal practices of appointing its party associates to plum posts.
Shukla had filed a complaint with the ACB on August 12.
In her complaint, Shukla alleged that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders were appointing their associates to the DCW and giving them financial benefits from the Delhi government.
The Congress leader has named Prabhsahay Kaur, daughter of senior AAP leader H.S. Phoolka, Advisor to DCW Raj Mangal Prasad, and 83 others as beneficiaries.
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All the names have been obtained through an RTI inquiry, Shukla claimed and demanded a detailed inquiry into such activities.
Highlighting the work of the DCW in the last one year, Maliwal said, “In the last one year I have taken up more than 400 cases, made over 50 visits and also made over 50 recommendations in several cases.”
“We are being questioned as we are working,” she claimed.
Speaking on the appointments, the DCW chief said, “Earlier there were 42 people working with the DCW and now there are about 80 people working with the DCW out of which three such appointments are of those who are acid attack victims.”
“Two girls belong to the Nari Niketan and were appointed in DCW following all the rules and regulations which were there since the time Shukla was here,” she said.
The DCW chief also said the appointments were done as the commission was overburdened with complaints which weren’t taken up during Shukla’s tenure.
“One can imagine the pendency of cases here as in the last nine years only one case was taken up,” she said, adding, “For the last five months all the staff of DCW are working, even on Saturdays.”
“Now the DCW initiates at least one action in a week in every case. And as the 181 helpline has come to us so we have hired 22 vehicles which are plying in the city to rescue women in distress,” Maliwal claimed.
“We have also brought 22 lawyers with us who represent the cases of women in different city courts,” she added.
Taking a dig at Delhi Police, Maliwal said, “Delhi Police filed a false case against me for revealing the name of the 14-year-old rape victim.”
“I have never revealed the name of any rape victim. What is more shameful is that the rape victim died after she was forcefully made to drink acid by the rapist,” she said. “And when I highlighted the issue then a false case was filed against me,” she added.
She said the ACB was raiding her office in a false case as the DCW is working for the first time in its history.
“The ACB team has come here again in a false case and questioning our officers. This is being done because for the first time in the history of the DCW it is working,” she added.
After the raids, the ACB has summoned Maliwal’s secretary to join the probe on Friday.