AAP leader and chief of Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal was today granted bail by a Special Court in a case of alleged irregularities in the recruitment process of the women’s panel. Maliwal appeared before the court in pursuance to summons issued to her by the court on January 18.
Special Judge Hemani Malhotra said the evidence in the matter was documentary and Maliwal was not required for custodial interrogation and granted her bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and a surety of like amount.
During the hearing, the court asked the investigating officer and prosecutor Atul Shrivastava whether the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) was further probing the matter as per its direction. To this, the IO replied in the affirmative and said it would take some time to conclude the investigation. Maliwal also told the court that she has received the copy of charge sheet and other documents.
The court had earlier taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed in the case and summoned Maliwal as accused. The court, however, had said the probe has not identified Maliwal’s associates with whose connivance “illegal practices were adopted” and directed the police to probe their role and file supplementary charge sheet against them.
The charge sheet was filed by ACB on December 21, 2016 against Maliwal in connection with alleged irregularities in appointment of AAP workers in DCW. The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who had alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel.
Singh, an exMLA, had filed the complaint against Maliwal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 11, 2016, alleging that many illegal practices were adopted by them to financially benefit aides and associates of Aam Aadmi Party at the cost of public exchequer.
A case was lodged against Maliwal on September 19 last year for alleged offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust by public servant under IPC and provisions of PC Act. During investigation, ACB collected documents from the Office of DCW, Women and Child Development Department and Finance Department of Delhi government and recorded statements of witnesses.
ACB had said during probe, it was found that Maliwal, in connivance with others has allegedly abused her official position and deliberately ignored the procedure laid down rules to employ associates or AAP workers beyond the authorised sanctioned strength of 26 posts, causing unauthorised benefits to them at the cost of public exchequer.
It was also found during the investigation that the appointments were made without inviting any applications by way of publication or constituting a selection board. According to the prosecution, the probe revealed that the remuneration amount was hiked in a whimsical manner thereby granting undue pecuniary benefits to the close associates of Maliwal and those connected to AAP.
[Source:-The Indian Express]