DCW threatens action as Police refuses to divulge crime data

DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said that Delhi Police has refused to submit information on crime against women to the Commission despite nearly half a dozen letters and notices.

PTI| Updated: Feb 08, 2016, 20:25 PM IST

New Delhi: With Delhi Police again denying it information on crime against women, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Monday lashed out, saying it is not "powerless" and will proceed as per the powers of a civil court.

DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said that the DCP Legal Cell of Delhi Police appeared before the Commission today and has submitted a reply wherein Delhi Police has again refused to submit information on crime against women to the Commission despite nearly half a dozen letters and notices.

The DCW and Delhi Police have crossed swords over the issue with Police Commissioner BS Bassi today saying that individuals and bodies should act within their jurisdiction while Maliwal pulled up the force, saying its stand is "unbecoming".

The DCW, last Tuesday, had summoned Bassi to appear before it today for producing the required records and statistics and also explain the "unreasonable" delay in sharing the data.

"At a time when Delhi is labelled as the rape capital of the world, denying crucial information on crimes against women to the DCW is extremely unbecoming of the Delhi Police," Maliwal said.

"DCW needs this information to fulfill its statutory mandate of investigating and examining all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the laws and the Constitution. How can DCW provide effective recommendations in the absence of data which it is seeking from the Delhi Police?"

She also termed Delhi Police's argument that providing data to the Commission will create a law and order problem in the city as "shocking and absurd". She reiterated that Delhi police should not create a situation of confrontation and that the Commission wishes to work in close cooperation with the police.

"DCW has complete right and powers to seek data on crime against women from Delhi police. Delhi Police should realize that neither the women of Delhi nor DCW is powerless," she said.

"The Commission will proceed as per the powers of a civil court invested in it by the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994," she said.

Earlier during the day, Bassi that city's police force is committed on the issue of women safety and is taking every necessary step to ensure their safety.

"Nobody should doubt this. We respect every common man and also government bodies. Every person and government body should operate within their limits," he told reporters here.

According to Maliwal, the Commission is conducting a detailed study on women's safety in the national capital for which it needs information to make recommendations to the government.

DCW has powers to requisition data from police under Section 10 of DCW Act, 1994, for the purposes of investigating and examining matters related to women's safety, etc., Maliwal said.

DCW has been seeking data on crimes against women from the Delhi Police for the last six months and has issued 4 letters, 2 notices and has discussed the issue in person with the Delhi Police Commissioner thrice.