State social security and women and child development department order says extension order for chairperson was a “bonafide mistake” as there’s no such provision in the Punjab State Commission for Women Act
Chandigarh : The Aam Aadmi Party government has removed State Women Commission Chairperson Manisha Gulati by withdrawing a September 2020 letter through which she had been granted an extension of three years.
The Social Security and Women and Child Development Department withdrew the letter dated September 18, 2020.
Additional Chief Secretary Kirpa Shankar Saroj said on Tuesday that issuing the letter granting her extension was a “bonafide mistake”.
“There was no provision in the Punjab State Commission for Women Act, 2001, (and further amendments) regarding an extension to the sitting chairperson or to the members of the commission…As per Section 4 (1), the chairperson is mandated to hold office for period of three years only. There is no provision of extension beyond three years, in the Act, for the sitting chairperson or the member of the Punjab State Commission for Women,” Said the orders addressed to Gulati.
Gulati was appointed to the post in March 2018 by the then Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government. .
Gulati, sharing close ties with the Patiala royal family, especially the former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, was appointed as Commission’s chairperson months after the formation of the Congress Government. A former Congress leader, Gulati joined the BJP in run up to state assembly polls in February last.
Giving the reasons for withdrawing the letter granting extension to Gulati, the order read, “There has been no consultations with the women organization of Punjab State before issuing the letter dated September 18, 2020, and which is mandatory according to the Section 2(b) of the Punjab State Commission for Women Act, 2001.”
“With the bonafide mistake, a letter dated September 18, 2020, was issued by this office through which an extension was given to you,” added the order, pointing that there’s no provision in the 2001 Act and further amendments regarding extension to the sitting chairperson or to the members of the Commission.