Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, who was recently booked for allegedly revealing a rape victim’s name, today wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma alleging attempts were being made by the police to intimidate DCW and the media.
Rebutting charges that she had named the victim in a notice sent to police, she said the FIR against her was “baseless and completely untenable in law”.
Several journalists covering DCW had yesterday claimed that they were questioned by the Delhi Police in connection with the case against Maliwal of revealing identity of a 14-year-old Dalit girl, who died after being raped repeatedly.
The girl, who was also allegedly forced to drink acid, died last week after battling for life for over a month.
“A plain reading of the FIR shows that this FIR is baseless and completely untenable in law. Not only are the charges incorrect, it is also baseless for I never disclosed the minor’s name. Moreover, all statutory requirements were observed by the commission and the undersigned while dealing with the matter,” the letter said.
“It is also shocking that not only DCW but even the media is being targeted in this case by the police. I have also been informed that journalists covering DCW are being repeatedly questioned and interrogated.
“These methods of intimidation being adopted by the police clearly reek of their malicious attempt to intimidate the DCW and the media to subvert the real issues and transgress from the gruesome incident of minor’s rape,” it added.
Last week, an FIR was registered against the DCW chief for allegedly revealing the victim’s name in a notice to Burari SHO.
Her name was also revealed in a press release issued to the journalists. However, minutes later an apology was sent for “mistakingly” revealing the name and urging journalists to not use it.
While Maliwal had not commented on the press release, she had dismissed the charge, saying she had not released the victim’s name in the notice and that she was not scared of the FIR.
In a letter to the SHO, Maliwal demanded that the rape case be transferred to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising senior officers of proven competence and the parents of the victim be promptly provided effective security and protection.