Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal justifies stand saying bodies such as the Delhi Commission for Women should not be headed by politicians

Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday returned to Delhi government the file on removal of Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh seeking reasons for the proposed action even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal justified its stand saying these bodies should not be headed by politicians.

The development came just hours after the DCW chief met Mr. Jung and complained that the Delhi government wanted to remove her for summoning Law Minister Somnath Bharti in the south Delhi raid episode.

“The Lt. Governor has returned the file to us seeking certain clarifications on why the government wants to reconstitute the DCW,” a top official said.

After meeting Mr. Jung, Ms. Singh, a former Congress MLA, said she was holding a constitutional post and the Delhi government does not have power to remove her. However, senior officials said, as per the DCW Act 1994, the government has the power to take such action.

“I have handed over a rule book of DCW to the Lt. Governor so that he gets to know that the government cannot remove the DCW chairperson. They (Kejriwal, his Ministers) have become dictators. They are acting according to their whims and fancies,” Ms. Singh said.

The Delhi government on Wednesday recommended to the Lt. Governor to reconstitute the Commission and proposed Hindi novelist Maitreyi Pushpa’s name to head the panel.

“We want experts and non-political persons to head various commissions and boards. Politicians should not head DCW and other commissions and boards. Maitreyi Pushpa is joining on a salary of Re. 1,” Mr. Kejriwal said when asked about the issue.

The Chief Minister also rejected Ms. Singh’s claim that she was being removed for summoning the Law Minister.

“This (Somnath Bharti) is not the reason for seeking removal of Barkha Singh. Bharti’s trial was not going at DCW. The Lt Governor has appointed a judicial probe into the case,” he said.

The government’s move to seek Ms. Singh’s removal came five days after she had a public spat with Mr. Bharti’s lawyers when she refused to allow them to depose before the DCW on the Law Minister’s behalf in the case related to midnight raid against African women. The Minister had alleged that the women were involved in drug and prostitution racket.

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