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SC refuses to interfere with Delhi HC order staying proceedings against DCW chief Swati Maliwal in illegal appointment case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to interfere with the Delhi High Court's March 10 order which had stayed the trial court proceedings against Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal in connection with a case of alleged appointment of Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) leaders to the Commission.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JK Maheshwari asked the Delhi High Court to decide the case expeditiously. "Since the impugned order of March 10 of the Delhi High Court is only an interim order... We are not inclined to interfere with the order at this stage. High Court will consider the contentions from both sides and pass an appropriate order and shall finally decide the matter at the earliest," the bench said in its order.

Delhi Police approached the apex court against the High Court order staying the proceedings of the trial court against Maliwal in the case.

Delhi High Court had observed that the essential ingredient of an offence under Section 13(1)(d)ii of the Prevention of Corruption Act was not made out in the chargesheet or in the order framing charges in the case.

In December last year, the Rouse Avenue Court had ordered the framing of charges against Maliwal and others for 'prima facie' abusing their official positions to appoint workers of the AAP at different posts in the women's rights body.
The trial court had said that apart from Maliwal, former DCW members Promila Gupta, Sarika Chaudhary and Farheen Malick will also be put on trial.

The charges against the accused were framed under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with Section 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Earlier, Maliwal had challenged the trial court order of December 8, 2022, that had framed corruption charges against her and three others.

Maliwal's contentions were that all those appointed to the DCW included lawyers with experience in monitoring rape trials and the appointments were on a short-term contractual basis.

It was pointed out that the complainant in the matter was a former chairperson of the DCW, who belonged to a different party.
The matter relates to an FIR lodged against the accused by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on a complaint by former DCW chairperson and BJP MLA Barkha Shukla Singh.

The complainant had alleged that the accused, in conspiracy with each other, abused their official positions and appointed AAP workers to different posts in the DCW, without following due process.
A total of 90 appointments were made in the DCW between August 6, 2015, and August 1, 2016, as per the FIR. Out of these, 71 people were appointed on a contractual basis and 16 were appointed for 'Dial 181' distress helpline. (ANI)

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