Days after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung started a war of letters over the appointment of the chairperson and members of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), Jung approved the appointment of Swati Maliwal — the AAP’s government’s pick for the post of the DCW chairperson — and three other members.
While the Lt-Governor has approved Maliwal’s appointment, his office has not backed away from his position on the appointment procedure, and maintained that its views on who the government is in Delhi is the same as those communicated to Kejriwal.
The Lt-Governor noted, “My clearance of this file is not based on your assertions… Orders obtained on file cannot be subject to caveats and the entire position via-a-vis the definition of ‘government’ has been conveyed to you repeatedly, including in my last letter dated July 24, 2015. The selective quoting of orders/judgments does not alter the strict legal interpretation. Therefore, the stand of this office as well as of the Government of India remains the same and does not need to be repeated. The names of the proposed chairperson/ members of the DCW are approved.”
While sources in the L-G’s office confirmed the approval of Maliwal’s appointment after Kejriwal sent the file to Jung on Friday, Maliwal was officially informed of the L-G’s nod by the DCW office on Monday evening.
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The L-G’s approval for the reconstitution of the DCW comes a day ahead of the Delhi Assembly’s special session to discuss women’s safety.
“I have been told that my appointment has been approved. I will be in office on Tuesday. I will also attend the session on women’s safety…which I will be closely observing,” Maliwal said.
A fresh round of confrontation between Kejriwal and Jung sparked off last week after Jung said Maliwal’s appointment, which was made by the Delhi government without his approval, had no legal sanctity.
“Government’ means the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi appointed by the President under Article 239 read with Article 239AA of the Constitution,” Jung had written to the CM.
Kejriwal had then accused Jung of acting at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Why is the Lieutenant Governor saying such laughable and unconstitutional things? The truth is that the Lt-Governor is not doing these things on his own. He is being made to do them. He is doing it all on directions of the PM. The Union Home Ministry too is becoming helpless before the prime minister’s office,” Kejriwal had then written to Jung.