Hours after Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung termed her appointment as the chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) “illegal”, Swati Maliwal claimed that the L-G’s office has asked her not to attend office or sign any files.
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“I have been directed by the L-G’s office to stay away from the office and not sign any files. I have been working on the field for so many years. On Thursday, I was planning to constitute an inquiry into the Anand Parbat murder case…,” she said late on Wednesday.
But sources in the L-G’s office said that neither were any such directions given to Maliwal nor were any calls made to her. “Her claims are complete lies,” they said. The L-G’s office said that it will seek an explanation from Maliwal on Thursday on the same.
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Earlier in the day, in a letter sent to the chief secretary and the principal secretary of the Delhi government, the L-G claimed that Maliwal’s appointment by the AAP government “has no legal sanctity”.
The notification on Maliwal’s appointment is in “breach of rules and procedures,” said the L-G, adding that “any action taken by chairperson or member, including quasi-judicial decision, would be ultra vires and infructuous and that the matter must be submitted before the Lt-Governor”.
Jung’s letter also claimed that “statutory notification for the reconstitution of DCW in the past had the L-G’s approval”. It was accompanied by copies of similar orders, issued between 2009 and 2014, including one issued during the AAP’s first stint in power.
Jung also referred to a clarification issued by the Union home ministry on July 25, 2002, which stated “NCT of Delhi govt means Lt- Governor appointed by President under Article 239 and designated as such under Article 239AA of the Constitution”.
Meanwhile, Women and Child Welfare Minister Sandeep Kumar — while appointing Maliwal on July 17 — had claimed that under the provisions of Article 239AA (4) of the Constitution, the minister in-charge is the appropriate authority to take decisions as the ‘government’. Responding to Jung, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai maintained that all rules were followed during the appointment, while the government submitted the concerned file to the L-G’s office.