FIR against DCW chief Swati Maliwal

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The Anti Corruption Branch has registered an FIR against DCW chief Swati Maliwal in connection with alleged irregularities in recruitment in the women’s panel.

“A case under sections 13(D) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC has been registered against Maliwal,” said a senior ACB officer.

The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel.

Singh, in her complaint, had listed the names of 85 people who, she claimed, got jobs “without requisite credentials”.

The ACB had been probing the matter for the last two-three months and based on the questioning of Maliwal’s employees, it was found that due procedure “was not followed in appointments,” said the officer, adding that a total of 91 appointments were found to be made without allegedly following due process.

On Monday, Maliwal was interrogated for over two hours by ACB officials in connection with the allegations made by Barkha Singh.

Maliwal was also handed over a questionnaire seeking her reply to 27 queries within a week’s time.

“I have been asked 27 questions and given a week’s time to reply. We have been asked how we did so many appointments to the women’s panel. In a way, they are asking how did we manage to do so much work?” Maliwal had told reporters on Monday after her questioning.

She termed the probe as an “attempt” to “silence” the women’s panel that has been raising a lot of questions.

“In one year, we have handled 11,500 cases and attended 2.25 lakh calls on helpline number 181. The former DCW chief handled only one case. DCW asks questions whenever a rape is reported. This is disturbing a lot of people. But we will continue to raise questions,” she said.

The DCW chief had said she will answer the questions asked by the ACB within a week and “fully cooperate” with the probe by providing all documents sought by the investigative agency.

Maliwal had alleged that Singh also appointed members to the panel during her tenure despite handling only one case in eight years.

“We followed the due process for appointing members to the panel. While she (Singh) appointed wives of IAS and IPS officers without giving an advertisement for recruitment. We have all the documents and we will give them to the ACB,” she had said.

Maliwal said she is not scared about the FIR and maintained that she hasn’t done anything wrong.

“Got to know that an FIR has been registered. I have no reason to be scared as I have not done anything wrong. If we have to change the system we will have to give some sacrifices.

“If somebody can prove corruption of a single rupee in my life, I will stop living. I am a follower of Laxmi Bai and Subhash Chandra Bose…I am not going be scared,” she said in a series of tweets.

(With PTI inputs)

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