DCW accuses ACB of harassing its Chairperson

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Wednesday accused the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of interrogating its Chairperson Swati Maliwal at short notice and unduly harassing her.

“The Anti-Corruption Branch at 12 hours’ notice visited the Commission to interrogate the Chairperson and furnished an 11-point questionnaire to her,” the Commission said in a statement issued here.

It said the ACB is “being used to harass and intimidate the DCW”.

“With the replies already submitted to the ACB, it is obvious that no criminal case can be made out against the Chairperson,” the statement said, adding that “the criminal case has been registered against Maliwal on the complaint of Barkha Singh, who during her tenure of eight years as Chairperson of the Commission, dealt with only one case”.

Maliwal had also sought time from the ACB to furnish the response as the information sought was “voluminous”. But, refusing to give her time, the ACB officials insisted that the DCW Chairperson furnish the response “then and there”, the statement noted.

The DCW said the entire functioning of the Commission has suffered and several crucial summons, including the one to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University on “Pinjra Tod” complaint, had to be postponed.

“Finally, in the evening, the ACB officials relented and gave two days time to the Chairperson to furnish her reply,” it said.

The DCW said the ACB has approached the women’s body after a month only when it raised voice against the Lt. Governor for stopping the salaries of the staff.

Maliwal had last week accused the new Member Secretary appointed by Najeeb Jung of stopping the salaries of Commission’s staff, which mostly comprise acid attack victims.

“Shocked that no FIR has been registered against Sheila Dixit and Barkha Singh for the past two months despite the entire Commission complaining against them to the ACB and submitting 128 pages of evidence of financial frauds and misdoings,” Maliwal has been quoted as saying in the statement.

She said it appears that the ACB is “working in a politically-motivated manner and attempts are being made to thwart the functioning of the Commission by continuously challenging its autonomy”.