Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, facing prosecution in a case of alleged irregularities in the recruitment process in the panel, has been warned by a Special court for her failure to comply with its directions. Maliwal, who was allowed by it to go to USA in May, did not inform it on her return to India despite its specific directions from the court, which has warned her to be careful in future. “Perusal of order dated May 5 reveals that accused (Maliwal) was directed to apprise the court qua her arrival in India from USA on the date of her arrival itself. However, though accused returned on July 1, she had not informed the court…
“Accused is warned to be careful in future and to comply with the direction of the court in its letter and spirit,” Special Judge Hemani Malhotra said.
Maliwal had filed an application apprising the court about her arrival in India on July 7 when the matter was listed for hearing. The court had in May allowed Maliwal to travel to USA from June 1-30 as she was invited by the US Department of State for a programme. It had allowed her plea while asking her to furnish a copy of her passport after its renewal and inform the court immediately after her return.
During the earlier hearing, the court was informed by the investigating officer (IO) through prosecutor Atul Shrivastava that the Anti-Corruption Branch’s further probe in the case was likely to end soon and requisite steps would be taken obtaining sanction to prosecute the co-accused.
The court directed the IO to file a detailed status report in this regard by July 12 and listed the matter for further proceedings on August 1. Maliwal, who was earlier granted bail by the court in the matter, was also present at the hearing. She was summoned as accused by the court on January 18 after taking cognisance of the ACB’s charge sheet for the alleged offence of criminal misconduct by public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act that entails a maximum punishment of seven years jail.
The court, however, had said the probe has not identified Maliwal’s associates with whose connivance the alleged “illegal practices were adopted” and directed the police to probe their role and file a supplementary charge sheet. The first charge sheet was filed by ACB on December 21, 2016 against Maliwal in connection with the alleged irregularities in the appointment of AAP workers in DCW.
The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who had alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel. Singh, a former MLA, had filed the complaint against Maliwal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 11, 2016, alleging that many illegal practices were adopted by them to financially benefit aides and associates of the Aam Aadmi Party at the cost of public exchequer.
A case was lodged against Maliwal on September 19 last year for alleged offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust by public servant under IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
ACB had said it was found during the probe that Maliwal, in connivance with others, had allegedly abused her official position and deliberately ignored the procedures and rules to employ associates or AAP workers beyond the authorised sanctioned strength of 26 posts, causing unauthorised benefits to them at the cost of public exchequer.
It was also found that the appointments were made without inviting any application by way of publication or constituting a selection board.