Fresh turmoil in DCW as LG-appointed bureaucrat warns against Kejriwal’s appointment


In fresh confrontation, an LG-appointed bureaucrat today cautioned Delhi Commission for Women to not allow an official backed by Delhi government to carry out work as its member secretary, saying such act on his part would be “untenable” and shall attract penal action.

IAS officer Dilraj Kaur, who was appointed as DCW member secretary by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, wrote a strongly-worded letter to DCW chief Swati Maliwal, saying incumbent P P Dhal should not continue in the post as his appointment was “illegal” and “devoid” of any statutory basis.

Earlier this month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had directed Chief Secretary M M Kutty and Maliwal not to allow Kaur to function as DCW Member Secretary.

Strongly reacting to Kaur’s letter, Maliwal wrote a letter to Lt Governor Jung calling the communication by the bureaucrat “shocking” and reflective of “utter disrespect and disregard” to the directions of the Chief Minister.

“In utter disrespect and disregard to the directions of the Chief Minister, she vide her letter dated December 16 has again asserted herself as the Member Secretary of the Commission. Furthermore, going way beyond her jurisdiction, she has threatened the government appointed officiating Member Secretary with penal action,” said Maliwal.

In the letter, Maliwal conveyed to Jung that an environment of terror and fear was being deliberately created for the staff working in the Commission and attempts were being made to intimidate the sub-ordinate officers to ensure a complete collapse of its functioning.

“The Commission is aggrieved for despite its unparallelled work, your office has not deemed it necessary to invite us for any discussion or consultation in the past one year and have considered it unimportant to intervene in this virtual crisis created in the Commission. It is our strong recommendation that immediate steps be taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the Commission,” said Maliwal.

The DCW chief said on December 14, the commission had received a note from Kaur stating that she had assumed charge as the Member Secretary of DCW. She said the Commission informed her of the decision of the Chief Minister and even sent a copy of his note to her, clarifying the legal position.

Kaur, in the letter to Maliwal, said since the competent authority has already issued specific orders posting her to the post and any further continuation of Dhal as Member Secretary was unauthorised and illegal.

“Therefore, any administrative action/decision taken by him in respect of Delhi Commission for Women would be untenable and shall attract penal action as per law.

Maliwal further said that every other day, the Commission issues notices to the WCD secretary over the shortcomings in the implementation of the schemes undertaken by the department and that if she becomes the Member Secretary, they would be forced to refrain from issuing notices.

Maliwal one again urged Jung to constitute a task force on women safety as directed by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated July 1, 2016 and ensure atleast two meetings in a month of the Task Force which should include elected representatives, Delhi Police and the Delhi Commission for Women amongst others.

“I wish to inform you that only 587 days are remaining of my tenure. It is a very short period and I wish to work day and night and leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of women and girls in the Capital. It is painful that due to the systematic attack, the Commission has been able to spend less than half of its budget till date.

“I sincerely hope that your office displays sympathy for the women and girls of Delhi and without any prejudice, works towards making Delhi a crime free zone for women and girls and ensures the smooth functioning of the Commission,” she said in the letter.

(The headline of our earlier version has said ‘LG cautions’ DCW. This was due to an oversight. We regret the error)