New Delhi: DCW chief Swati Maliwal on Sunday said that in case Delhi Police fails to submit data as sought by it on crimes against women, it will exercise its powers of a civil court.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) had last Tuesday summoned Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi to appear before it on 8 February at 4 PM for producing the required records and explaining the "unreasonable" delay in sharing the data.
"DCW does not intend to prove a point by ensuring the presence of the police commissioner at its office and has, in fact, informed he may send his deputy to the summons, but must under all circumstances provide the data, else the Commission will exercise its powers of a Civil Court," Maliwal said.
"The failure to present data sought by the Commission constitutes an offence under Section 176 of the IPC, which is punishable with a jail term of 1 month and/or fine," she said, asserting that neither DCW nor the women of Delhi are "powerless".
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.
The Commission had to resort to issuing summons to Delhi Police after repeated attempts to elicit data from the Delhi Police Commissioner proved futile, she said.
"In its letter, Delhi Police has stated that information sought on crimes against women was publicly available on its website, which is not the case," Maliwal claimed.
"Strangely, in the same letter, they have also stated that if the data is revealed to DCW, it would cause a law and order problem in Delhi," she said.
The Commission has informed Delhi Police that it is conducting a detailed study on women's safety in the national capital for which it needs information to make recommendations to the government, she said.
Exercising the powers of a civil court, DCW can summon and enforce the attendance of any person from any part of India and examine him or her under oath. It can also requisition any public record.