Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has recommended to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung that the recent appointment of serving VAT commissioner as Member Secretary of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) be withdrawn, terming it to be “unconstitutional”. “It is shocking that the Member Secretary was recently appointed to DCW by you without her name being nominated by the elected government. The government had already nominated a certain name and without considering it, Alka Dewan was nominated to the post. The appointment is unconstitutional and against the order of Delhi High Court and DCW Act,” Kejriwal said in his recommendation.
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“Preserving the autonomy of the Commission is paramount to its functioning. If the Commission will need constant approvals from the government for its various programmes and activities, how will it question the government authorities? “The present methods of arm twisting the Commission are dangerous and counter-productive to the well being of the women and girls of Delhi,” he added.
The recommendation from the Chief Minister comes following a representation sent to him by DCW chief Swati Maliwal alleging that the appointment has led to stalling of the functioning of the Commission and subverting its autonomy and holding the salaries of the contractual workers for the past three months.
Maliwal had last month claimed that the Commission will have to lose down its mobile helplines and the rape crisis cell, as the Member Secretary to DCW, appointed by the LG, has allegedly stopped releasing salaries of the staff and her being a serving VAT commissioner also makes her appointment to DCW “illegal”.
“The part time appointment of Dewan as Member Secretary to the Commission is therefore null and void. It is recommended that she may be immediately withdrawn and in future all appointments to the Commission are made only after due nomination of the same by elected government,” Kejriwal said.