The Delhi High Court has questioned Lieutenant Governor, Najeeb Jung, to state whether the rehab rape cells operated by the Delhi Commission for Women should be closed down. This is because the LG had earlier filed a case against DCW in lieu of the staffers of the rape cells being appointed without his approval and hence illegally.
The HC is in a tense situation because of the rape cells as they are working under court’s permission. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva has also ordered the LG to take a clear stand on behalf of the centre whether all the staffers employed by DCW are illegally hired or a few of them.
Earlier in an affidavit, LG’s office had claimed that DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal had “no power or authority to arbitrarily, unilaterally, unauthorisedly engage or appoint employees” in DCW and if they required more manpower, then they should have followed the necessary process to fulfil that, reported TOI.
During Diwali, the DCW had come out with a statement which said that its helpline and rape cell staffers have not released their salaries by the newly-appointed Member Secretary to the commission.
Alka Diwan is the Member Secretary who was appointed in the first week of October. She did not release the salary of the 70 staff-members working at the Delhi Mahila Aayog.
In the mean time, DCW informed the HC that it has budget to continue till March 2017 and asked the court to sanction their salaries till that time. DCW staff members also appealed to the HC to direct the commission to pay their salaries as they have not been paid since September last year.
In December, 2016, the court had ordered the commission to disburse 50% of the outstanding salary to its 62 workers. Then on January 18, 2017, the judgment was extended to 35 others who had moved the court, subsequently. It also commanded the commission to list the names of the employees who have been appointed without the LG’s approval.
Picture credit- Deccan Chronicle