The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) office now has a legal clinic for providing free legal aid to women who approach the women’s panel.
The DCW and Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) inaugurated a DSLSA clinic at the panel’s office in ITO on Wednesday.
The panel said it receives several complaints on a daily basis and a significant percentage of them require free legal aid which they cannot afford otherwise.
“The lawyers of DSLSA deputed to the Commission herein shall ensure that the process of getting free legal aid for women shall be made smoother and more accountable,” the panel said.
Earlier, the complainants faced certain problems with the services due to lack of proper coordination between DCW and DSLSA, the panel said.
The newly appointed DSLSA Member Secretary Kanwaljeet Arora suggested that a DSLSA Legal Clinic be set up in the commission itself to streamline the process and provide free legal aid to women who approach the commission, it added.
The proceedings on a complaint against AAP leader Kumar Vishwas by a party volunteer alleging that her life was ruined as he was not rebutting “rumours” about their illicit liaison, have been closed by the Delhi women’s panel, its chief told Delhi High Court today.
Justice V P Vaish was told by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Barkha Singh’s counsel that “there are no proceedings pending in the case” before the body.
The DCW counsel further said that as the probe against Vishwas was closed on June 23, the present petition becomes “infructuous”.
The court, which was hearing a plea by Vishwas seeking stay on the summons issued to him by DCW, however, directed the Chairperson’s counsel to file a “detailed report within two weeks with regard to the oral submissions made by the advocate”.
The Chairperson’s response came in pursuance to the notice issued by the high court to her on May 22, as well as the DCW and the woman complainant.
Meanwhile, the court issued fresh notice to the complainant after it was informed that notice was not served upon her as she was not residing at the given address.
“Delhi High Court Registry will serve the summons to the complainant by hand, at the new address provided,” the court said and listed the matter for August 7.
The court was likely to dispose of the case as the proceedings were dropped against Vishwas but the same could not be done as Somnath Bharti, counsel for the AAP leader, sought a direction to restrain DCW chief from holding a press conference on the issue.
Bharti also contended that a stricture must be passed against the DCW and its Chairperson for misuse of office for political purposes and urged the court that a word of caution be issued that this forum (DCW) should not be misused.
To this, the counsel for DCW Chairperson said that her right cannot be curtailed. However, she said she would seek instruction on the issue raised by Bharti.
Bharti opposed the panel chief’s request saying that Barkha Singh was retiring on July 18 and hence her counsel was seeking time.
On May 22, the high court had refused to stay the DCW’s summons to Kumar Vishwas and issued notices to its chairperson and the woman Aam Aadmi Party volunteer on the party leader’s plea.
The court, while declining Vishwas’s prayer to stay the summons, had said let the respondents reply to them and think over it later. It had fixed the matter for hearing today.
On May 15 too, the court had refused to give any interim relief to Vishwas on his plea challenging the summons issued to him.
The court was of the view that there was a “defect” in the plea and had said that the AAP volunteer should have been made a party in the case as it was on her complaint that summons were issued.
Questioning the authority of DCW to issue such summons claiming it had no jurisdiction to deal with the issue raised by the complainant, Vishwas had also sought that the woman be restrained from making any public statement.
The Commission had first asked Vishwas, his wife and two others to appear before it on May 4 and later issued fresh summons for May 6 after they failed to appear.
Acting on the woman’s complaint, the Commission had said that the volunteer had worked for the party for a year in Amethi and now it was a matter of her respect and honour. So Kumar Vishwas should turn up and give his clarification.
The woman had said she had campaigned alongside Vishwas, who was pitted against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi during 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
She had received a message on social media, first on Facebook and later WhatsApp, showing her picture as the female volunteer Vishwas was accused of having illicit relationship with.
Demanding that Vishwas’s wife should come forward and give an explanation, the woman had said she had filed a complaint at Nand Nagri Police Station here on March 29. However, the police did not pay heed to her complaint, she had claimed.