ACB conducts 'search' at DCW office; CM, Maliwal livid

ACB conducts 'search' at DCW office; CM, Maliwal livid

ACB conducts 'search' at DCW office; CM, Maliwal livid

The Anti-Corruption Branch today carried out searches at Delhi Commission for Women office here in connection with complaints by a former chief secretary and an ex-chief of the panel, triggering an angry reaction from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Later, addressing a press conference, DCW chief Swati Maliwal said the "raid" by ACB, headed by LG-appointed M K Meena, may be an attempt at coercion but such actions cannot "silence" her and that she was ready for the "ultimate sacrifice".

ACB officials claimed that they had intimated the DCW that they will be coming to collect certain documents pertaining to two complaints, one alleging nepotism and favouritism by Maliwal in appointing employees to the body and the other about "misuse" of her official position.

The complaints were recently made by former chief of DCW Barkha Shukla Singh and former Delhi Chief Secretary Omesh Sehgal, respectively.

Adopting a Gandhian way of protest, the staff of the panel tied rakhis to the ACB officials during the search.

"I was not questioned by the ACB officials but other members of the Commission were. During her tenure, Barkha Singh handled just one case in nine years. We have been working on pending cases, that's why we are being questioned," Maliwal told reporters.

In her complaint, Barkha had claimed that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women's panel, an allegation strongly denied by Maliwal, who attributed the increased staff strength to the "increase" in the amount of work being handled by DCW since she took over in July last year.

"Barkha Singh in DCW tenure of nine year did only 1 case. I've done over 400 cases, 50 recommendation in 50 visits. Attack on me for doing work...Those who fight against the system have to make sacrifices. Have to be ready for the ultimate sacrifice. I am ready (sic)," Maliwal tweeted.

In another complaint, Sehgal had alleged that Maliwal was misusing her official position by issuing a showcause notice to a club of which he is a member.

A woman had claimed that Sehgal had harassed her by bumping into her constantly in the club's swimming pool. The woman had claimed that she and her husband were suspended from the club after they filed an FIR against Sehgal.

DCW had sought a reply from the club on the suspension of the couple's membership and the club's failure to forward the woman's complaint to the local complaints committee.

"When we approach the ACB against irregularities in MCD, it hardly takes any note of them. You can call the ACB a BJP- controlled agency. It springs up like James Bond when it comes to complaints against AAP and Delhi government," AAP Delhi Convenor Dilip Pandey said.

Earlier, the ACB officials showed up at the DCW office around 10.30 AM. Maliwal claimed that the strength of the panel has increased owing to the increase in the workload.

"The Commission had 42 members earlier but now the strength has increased to more than 70 because the work has increased. Appointments have been made because of this. All the due procedures have been followed in the appointment of panel members. We are putting in extra hours to help those who approach us," she said.

Maliwal later tweeted about the work the women's panel has done under her leadership. In a series of tweets, she said, "ACB raids DCW office. DCW will continue working for women. ACB is free to interrogate, question and arrest. Happy Rakshabandhan to all (sic)."

"Hv done nothing wrong. Get salary of Rs 30,000 which is enough for me. DCW even open on Saturdays for past 5 months to ensure proper work 3 acid attack victims, 2 orphans from nari niketan and several victims been appointed. All due processes were followed. Thats our fault?

"We are the only ones raising issues of increasing child rapes, high level committee, victim compensation fund etc with govt. Thats r fault? Put me in jail but pass the file on acid attack and rape victims. Make a high level committee (sic)," she wrote.

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