‘DCW can issue arrest warrants, attach property’
DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal on Monday claimed that the Commission has the authority to issue arrest warrants and order attachment of property and salary if a person disobeys its summons, under the Delhi Commission for Women Act 1994.
“The Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994, lays down the powers and functions of DCW. Under the Act, the Commission is given the powers of a civil court in matters of trying a suit along with the powers of issuing <g data-gr-id="37">summons</g> and calling for documents.
“According to Civil procedure court, if summons <g data-gr-id="43">are</g> disobeyed, then a person can be arrested. Thus the Commission has the power to issue arrest warrants and order attachment of property and salary if a person disobeys its summons,” Maliwal said.
The DCW chief further said that when she took charge she found too many complaints in which people have not responded despite having been issued summons.
“There were two problems - one that we were issuing <g data-gr-id="42">random</g> summons, secondly, at times when summons are issued, people do not appear before it. So, I read the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994, and found that the Commission has powers of issuing arrest warrants, etc. I wondered why it is not being implemented,” Maliwal said.
“So I sought opinion from Former Additional Solicitor General of India, Indira Jaising to be double sure and she gave it in writing clarifying that the Commission has the authority to issue arrest warrants and property attachments against persons who fail to appear before the Commission on the summons issued to them.
“From now on, if any person who intentionally fails to comply with the summons, appropriate action under <g data-gr-id="39">law</g> will be initiated by the Commission,” she added.
When asked to comment over the Commission being unaware of its powers till date, Maliwal said: “Till now, Commission was a parking lot of all retired politicians. A kitty party environment prevailed and despite having powers, nobody used them and rather complained that the Commission lacked powers because of which it was not able to act.
“There was <g data-gr-id="35">sorry</g> state of affairs which we will be changing now and action will be taken against those failing to appear before the Commission,” said Maliwal.