Monday, April 22, 2024

Supreme Court rejects plea challenging stay on proceedings against Swati Maliwal illegal appointments case

The Supreme Court has today rejected the challenge to a Delhi High court that was filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The order challenged  stay proceedings against Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Maliwal in connection with an illegal appointments case.

A Bench comprising of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JK Maheshwari refused to interfere with the order and asked the High Court to dispose of the matter expeditiously. 

The charges were framed by the Special Judge Dig Vinay Singh after he noted that that there was a ‘strong suspicion’ against Maliwal, Promila Gupta, Sarika Chaudhary and Farheen Malick, and that the facts disclosed ‘prima facie sufficient material’.

The Court has put charges of criminal conspiracy under Indian Penal Code and criminal misconduct by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

As per the order, being an autonomous body receiving funds from the Government no posts can be created at whims & fancies nor recruitment of near and dear ones could have been made against all Rules.

In short the order was against the practise of nepotism, as revealed from the facts of this case.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former chairperson of DCW Barkha Shukla Singh filed this case against Maliwal with the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB).

As per the prosecution all the four accused persons, have abused their official positions and obtained advantages for AAP workers and acquaintances.

The claim states that many workers and acquaintances were appointed to different posts of DCW without following the due process.

As per the complaint filed 90 appointments were made in the DCW between August 6, 2015 and August 1, 2016, of which 71 people were appointed on a contractual basis and 16 were appointed for ‘Dial 181’.

The appointment of 3 still remains in mystery as no records could be found.

In its order, the Court stated that merely because DCW had been urging the government to fill up vacant posts, which was not done in a timely manner, did not give any right to DCW to make arbitrary appointments.

The Court said that facts mentioned create a strong suspicion that recruitments to various posts were made during the impugned tenure of the accused persons for different remunerations in arbitrary manner, violating all Rules & Regulations

The argument of the accused that the ingredients of criminal misconduct by a public servant under PCA are not fulfilled in the facts of the present case, as the element of dishonest intention is lacking, has no force, the Court added.

The Court said that the circumstances do indicate such a conspiracy between the accused persons. Even though, there are no express allegations in as many words against the accused persons as to their conspiracy mentioned in the charge sheet, but indeed Sec. 120B of IPC has been invoked against them and the facts do indicate such a conspiracy,” the order stated.



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