Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal on Monday said the commission would now issue arrest warrant against people failing to appear before it despite being summoned.
Maliwal claimed that the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994, vested the commission with such power, and she got this confirmed through a legal advise from former Solicitor General Indira Jaising.
“We (DCW) have the power of a civil court. This had always been in the domain of DCW’s act, though it went unnoticed and never used. Not just with DCW but all state women’s commissions possess same powers but were never used,” Maliwal told IANS.
Jaisingh opined that the DCW not only could issue arrest warrant but also attach the property of the person who fails to appear before it when summoned.
“It is shocking to note that all other State Women Commissions too possess the same powers but these are never used. The opinion given by Jaising in writing clarifies 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,” the DCW said in a statement.
Maliwal further added that the authority of issuing arrest warrant could be imposed on the police officials.
“We are for now in the process of setting up a procedure to deal with the cases and will begin implementation of the power to issue arrest warrant. It’s crucial for people to understand the depth of the women related issues,” Maliwal said, adding, “The power to issue arrest warrant will surely be a giant step towards providing justice to the victim.”