Failure to appear before the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on its summons will now result in issuance of arrest warrants and attachment of property by the Commission.
DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal today 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 summons and calling for documents.
"According to Civil procedure court, if summons are 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," Ms 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 random 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," she 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 law will be initiated by the Commission," she added.
When asked to comment over the Commission being unaware of its powers till date, Ms 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 sorry state of affairs which we will be changing now and action will be taken against those failing to appear before the Commission," said Ms Maliwal.