NEW DELHI -- A court here on Wednesday issued summons to DCW chief Swati Maliwal in a case of alleged irregularities in appointments to the women's rights panel.
After taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch, Special Judge Hemani Malhotra issued summons to Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Maliwal asking her to appear in court on 6 February, the next date fixed for hearing.
"After meticulously examining the material placed before this court which includes the FIR, statements of the witnesses and documents, I am of the opinion that there is sufficient material and evidence to take cognizance of offences under section 13(1)(d) and 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act," the court said.
"I, therefore, order that Maliwal be summoned for 06.02.2017 to face trial."
A chargesheet was filed against Swati Maliwal, for commission of offence under section 13(1)(d) (by corrupt or illegal means, obtain any pecuniary advantage) and 13(2) (public servant who commits criminal misconduct) of Prevention of Corruption (POC) Act.
Public Prosecutor Atul Kumar Shrivastava told the court that investigation has revealed that the remuneration amount was hiked in a whimsical manner thereby granting undue pecuniary benefits to the close associates of Maliwal, Chairperson, DCW and those connected to the Aam Aadmi Party.
The court also said: "However, from the material placed on record, it appears that the investigation has not identified the other associates of Maliwal in whose connivance the illegal practices were adopted."
"It would be, therefore, in the interest of justice that the investigating officer (IO) be directed to investigate the matter further and identify the associates of Maliwal who had connived with her and file charge sheet," the court said.
The ACB action came in the wake of a complaint filed by Maliwal's predecessor Barkha Singh Shukla of the Congress.
Shukla, in her complaint, alleged that AAP workers were appointed in the DCW to fetch them financial gains. A total of 85 appointments are under investigation by the ACB.
On September 19, a first information report was registered against Maliwal.
Acting on the complaint, the ACB registered an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the prosecution, investigation revealed that Maliwal, in connivance with others, abused her official position and deliberately ignored the procedure laid down in general finance rules and other rules to employ her associates and party workers beyond the authorised sanctioned strength of 26 posts, causing unauthorised benefit to them at the cost of the public exchequer.
The investigation also reflected that the appointments were made without inviting any applications by way of publication or constituting a selection board.
Maliwal, however, denied the charges and said the action was taken to put pressure on her not to investigate cases against leaders of a political party.
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