Delhi Government Orders Removal of 223 DCW Employees Appointed Without LG's Approval

The Delhi government has ordered the removal of 223 contractual DCW employees appointed without LG's approval, raising concerns about the commission's ability to function effectively.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Delhi Government Orders Removal of 223 DCW Employees Appointed Without LG's Approval

Delhi Government Orders Removal of 223 DCW Employees Appointed Without LG's Approval

The Delhi government has ordered the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to remove 223 contractual employees who were appointed without the approval of Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. The Department of Women and Child Development cited irregularities and violations of procedures in the appointments made under the tenure of former DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal.

According to the order, the then chairperson of the DCW had appointed these employees without following due procedures, including not conducting any assessment of the actual staff requirement, not obtaining administrative approval and expenditure sanction, and not formally inviting applications for the posts. The LG has deemed these appointments as 'void ab-initio' and has directed the DCW to discontinue the services of all these contractual staff with immediate effect.

The order states that the DCW had violated statutory provisions by creating 223 posts and engaging staff without following due process, and that no study was conducted to assess the actual requirement of additional staff. It also highlighted that the remuneration and allowances for the DCW staff were increased without sufficient justification, violating established guidelines.

Why this matters: The removal of a significant number of employees from a women's rights commission raises concerns about its ability to effectively carry out its mandate. The allegations of irregularities in appointments and violations of procedures point to potential governance issues that warrant scrutiny.

Former DCW chief and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal has criticized the order, saying it will effectively shut down the Women's Commission. She stated that the DCW currently has a total staff of 90, with only 8 provided by the government, and the rest on 3-month contracts. Maliwal warned, "If all the contract staff is removed, the Women's Commission will be locked, and I vow not to let the institution be closed as long as I am alive."

The Delhi Commission for Women Act specifies that only 40 positions are officially sanctioned, and the commission lacks the authority to employ staff on a contractual basis. An inquiry report submitted in 2017 found that the 223 contract recruitments were not in compliance with regulations and lacked adherence to prescribed rules, including procedural oversight and approval from the LG.

The Delhi High Court had earlier halted the trial court's proceedings against Maliwal in a corruption case related to these appointments, noting that the essential ingredient of the offense was missing from the chargesheet. The case was filed based on a complaint by a former MLA alleging irregularities in the DCW during Maliwal's tenure.

Key Takeaways

  • Delhi govt orders DCW to remove 223 contractual staff hired without LG's approval.
  • LG deems the appointments 'void ab-initio' due to procedural irregularities.
  • DCW currently has 90 staff, with only 8 provided by govt, rest on 3-month contracts.
  • Removal of staff raises concerns about DCW's ability to effectively carry out its mandate.
  • Delhi HC had earlier halted trial court proceedings against former DCW chief Swati Maliwal.