DCW dubs appointment of Member Secretary illegal

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Thursday dubbed as illegal the appointment by the government of Alka Diwan as a Member Secretary in the women’s body.

The DCW accused “certain vested interests” of targeting the autonomy of the Commission by appointing Diwan, who was appointed on October 7.

The DCW said in a statement that Diwan’s appointment was against the DCW Act.

“Appointment of the Member Secretary, who is also the VAT Commissioner, is illegal. It has not been done in accordance with the (DCW) Act,” the statement said.

“The new Member Secretary has refused to release two months’ salary to the contractual staff. Diwali has become ‘black and dark’ for the DCW staff,” it said.

The Commission said the appointment had been made “in a bid to break the autonomy of the Commission and stall its functioning”.

Stating that the workload of the DCW had gone up exponentially, it said: “While the previous Chairperson dealt with only one case in eight years, the Commission handled 11,696 complaints last year alone and 2.16 lakh calls through its 181 women Helpline in the past six months.

“Fifty-two of the staff members, whose salaries have been withheld, earn less than Rs 25,000. Only 10 staff members have a salary above Rs 35,000,” the statement said.

It added: “There has been no notification from the government about the appointment and has simply been done through an office order.”

The DCW is headed by Aam Aadmi Party’s Swati Maliwal and it has been locked in a power tussle vis-a-vis Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, an appointee of the central government.