New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and the AAP government were locked in another spat on Wednesday, with Jung rejecting the city government’s appointment of Swati Maliwal as the new Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief.
In an unrelated development, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) mounted a fresh attack on Delhi Police, saying a police bus tried to run over its leader Dilip Pandey.
Jung, after a meeting with AAP leaders on Wednesday evening, promised to take up Pandey’s issue with Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi.
Jung’s office said the appointment of Maliwal, a social activist and wife of an AAP leader, was “in breach of rules and procedures” and “had no legal sanctity”. The Delhi government said it acted well within its powers.
Maliwal, who took charge as DCW chief on Monday, in a series of tweets said she was informed that she was not expected to come to office from Thursday.
“I received a call from DCW office saying I’m not supposed to come to office from tomorrow because the LG had called and all my files were being taken back. A lock will be put at the office tomorrow,” she tweeted.
“Tomorrow we were planning to institute an inquiry into Meenakshi (the teenaged girl who was stabbed multiple times) murder case. Police would have been asked how many women have made complaint of eve-teasing, what action has been taken, have they been provided police protection and whether there has been chargesheet in these cases,” she tweeted.
“I have been working at the grassroots level for women and will keep doing that even if I am not in DCW.”
“No one has been able to shatter my morale. I have been fighting for women from the system for last 10 year and will keep doing so.”
She insisted that she should not be seen merely as the wife of AAP leader Naveen Jaihind, a loyal supporter of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
In an earlier tweet, Maliwal said she “visited G B Road and spent the day with sex workers listening to their problems”.
Maliwal said her aim was to see a Delhi, where women felt safe even at midnight.
Delhi’s Labour Minister Gopal Rai said Maliwal’s appointment “was within the (parameters of the) constitution”.
Jung’s office disagreed. It said the notification about her appointment was issued without his approval.
“All statutory notifications for the reconstitution of the DCW in the past had the approval of the Lt. Governor of Delhi.
“As the notification in question has been issued without (such) approval, the competent authority, in breach of rules and procedures, the notification has no legal sanctity and any action taken by the chairperson or any member of the (DCW), including quasi-judicial decisions, would be ultra vires and infructuous.”
Maliwal succeeded Barkha Singh, a Congress functionary who had repeated run-ins with the Kejriwal government as well as two AAP leaders – Kumar Vishwas and Somnath Bharti.
Jung and the AAP government have been involved in public spats even earlier, primarily over the Delhi government’s powers to appoint and shift officials.
After the incident involving Dilip Pandey late on Tuesday, the AAP accused Delhi Police — which reports to the Lt. Governor and the central home ministry and not to the Delhi government — of acting at the behest of the Narendra Modi government.
“Delhi Police is working as the Modi government’s tool in the national capital,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said. “It is dancing to the tunes of the central government.”
An AAP delegation led by Sanjay Singh called on Jung on Wednesday evening and handed him a CD and “other evidence” to back charges that a police bus indeed tried to crush Pandey.
“The Lt.Governor promised to talk to the police commissioner to ensure action is taken against the culprit,” Sanjay Singh said.
Pandey and the AAP alleged that the incident happened while he was speaking with journalists outside the Rajendra Nagar police station on Tuesday evening — after an earlier AAP protest against the murder of a teenager last week.