NEW DELHI: Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung has taken offence to the manner in which the appointment to the chairperson of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) was pushed through by the state’s Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP Government.
The appointment of Swati Maliwal as the DCW chief has pushed the already tenuous relationship between the L-G and the Chief Minister to the brink. Exercising his powers, Jung on Wednesday issued an order making any action or decision taken by the new DCW chairperson “ultra vires and infructuous”.
The face-off between Jung and Kejriwal is likely to intensify further with this latest development. This was not for the first time the Kejriwal Government had bypassed the L-G’s authority by taking its own decisions. Despite orders from the L-G’s Office (Raj Nivas), the AAP Government was not in a mood to correct the procedure on Maliwal’s appointment.
Kejriwal chose to keep away from the convention being followed for the constitution of the DCW and issued order for appointment of Maliwal as its chairperson without Jung’s prior approval.
The movement of the file was halted and then orders were issued, asking incumbent Barkha Singh to demit office and appointed Maliwal in her place.
The Chief Minister’s Office has cited that the L-G was only the executive authority, while the Legislative or the competent authority would be the Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister as DCW is a transferred subject under the provisions of Article 239 AA (4) of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, after the controversy erupted, the WCD has moved the file again pertaining to the appointment of DCW chief.
Questioning Maliwal’s appointment, Raj Nivas said, “As the notification in question has been issued without the L-G’s approval and in breach of rules and procedures, it has no legal sanctity and any action taken by the chairperson or any member of the Commission, including quasi judicial decisions will be ultra vires and infructuous.”
In another development, Additional Commissioner of Police and Anti-Corruption Branch chief M K Meena hit out at the AAP Government, saying that the complaints received by Kejriwal’s much-hyped anti-graft helpline 1031 were not being transferred to his unit. He asked the government to hand over the helpline to the Delhi Police, if it could not handle it.
“The government should transfer the complaints to the ACB and proper action will be taken by us,” said Meena.