A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to initiate an inquiry against Swati Maliwal, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), for allegedly committing abetment of suicide of a minor boy amidst the Bois Locker Room controversy.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday while hearing a PIL filed seeking an inquiry against DCW Chief, cautioned the petitioner to be more careful in the future while filing petitions as PILs.
A division bench presided by Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad of Delhi High Court while conducting hearing through video conferencing noted that the present petition appears to be nothing but vested interest litigation rather than public interest litigation.
The plea filed by Advocate Archana Sharma had sought Maliwal’s removal from the post of Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women, and register an FIR against her for allegedly abetting the suicide of a teenager in relation to the case of ‘Bois Locker Room’. Sharma who is a lawyer by profession, also works as a social worker.
A 17 year-old boy had committed suicide after being named in a #MeToo Instagram post, however, he was not connected with the infamous social media chat room. It was informed to the counsel appearing for petitioner Sharma, that the issue relating “Bois Locker Room” has already been taken up by a coordinate Bench in W.P. (Crl.) No.806/2020 entitled ‘Devashish Dubey Vs. GNCTD’. Advocate Rajshekhar Rao appearing for Maliwal further added that,
…the captioned writ petition was disposed of on the date of admission itself with a direction issued to the Delhi Police to conduct an inquiry into the matter and take on record a complaint filed by the DCW.
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While Rao also submitted that this petition was yet another circuitous route adopted to re-agitate the same issue relating to the appointment of Swati Maliwal as Chairperson, DCW, Advocate Nalin Tripathi appearing for Sharma, after consulting with her, submitted that she did not wish to press the present petition and wanted to seek leave to withdraw the same.
The Delhi High Court also added,
At the outset, we have indicated to learned counsel for the petitioner that the present petition appears to be nothing but a vested interest litigation rather than a public interest litigation, particularly, when under the garb of referring to the incident pertaining to the “Bois Locker Room” on the social media, the petitioner has questioned the qualifications of the respondent No. 4 for holding the subject post and has alleged that she has tried to usurp the jurisdiction not vested in her by law.
Maliwal took to twitter to express her victory in the matter stating
दिल्ली महिला आयोग की अध्यक्षा के रूप में पिछले 5 साल जान को जोखिम में डाल तपस्या करी है, कोशिश करी है दिल्ली में महिलाओं की स्तिथि को बेहतर कर सकूं। कोर्ट ने मेरे खिलाफ लगाई PIL पर याचिकाकर्ता को कड़ी फटकार लगाई। तुम लाख दबाने की कोशिश कर लो, न थमेंगे, न रुकेंगे। सत्यमेव जयते!
(As chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, I have worked putting my life at risk for past five years, trying to improve the status of women in Delhi. The court has warned the petitioner for the PIL levelled against me. You may keep trying to suppress me, I won’t stop. Satyameva Jayate!)
While Men’s Day Out firmly respects the order issued by Delhi High Court, it must be noted how Maliwal had ordered FIR against minor boys related to Bois Locker Room even without a basic investigation. After huge social media uproar when Delhi Police exposed the “Fake Gang Rape Chats” by a girl impersonating as ‘Sidharth‘, DCW chief was compelled to publicly post her condemnation on the same. On May 11, Maliwal tweeted,
Disgusting that a girl sent out snapchat msg to a boy planning her own rape. ‘Bois Locker Room’ chats are not connected to this Snapchat but equally offensive & warrant legal action! The girl endangered cause of hundreds facing cyber abuse everyday! MUST be acted against too!
Disgusting that a girl sent out snapchat msg to a boy planning her own rape.
‘Bois Locker Room’ chats are not connected to this Snapchat but equally offensive & warrant legal action!
The girl endangered cause of hundreds facing cyber abuse everyday! MUST be acted against too!
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) May 11, 2020
We trust this episode will be a learning for all women commission chiefs not to jump the gun for social media mileage that does not last for more than a week. When it comes to the acts and lives of minor children, which include both girls and boys, we must allow Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) to proceed accordingly in all such matters.
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