Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has approved the sacking of 223 employees of the Delhi Commission for Women on grounds that their employment is “irregular” and “illegal”, reported The Indian Express on Thursday.

“The approval of government is hereby conveyed to DCW to discontinue service of all contractual staff with immediate effect who have been appointed by the DCW at any point in time, by going beyond its delegated powers and without following various procedures laid down and in violation of DCW Act/rules/regulations/guidelines issued by Govt. of NCT of Delhi,” read a notice issued by Saxena’s office on April 29.

Former Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, who is now a Rajya Sabha member representing the Aam Aadmi Party, labelled the lieutenant governor’s direction as a “Tughlaqi farmaan [order]”, a reference to the eighteenth Sultan of Delhi Muhammad bin Tughluq’s whimsical decision in 1327 to move the Sultanate’s capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, in present-day Maharashtra.

“Today, the Women’s Commission has a total staff of 90 out of which only 8 people have been provided by the government, the rest are on 3-month contracts,” Maliwal in a social media post. “If all the contract staff is removed, the Women’s Commission will be locked. Why are these people doing this? This institution has been built with blood and sweat. Instead of giving it staff and protection, you are destroying it from its roots?”

Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court had stayed the proceedings against Maliwal in a case registered by the Delhi Police’s Anti-Corruption Branch, which accused her of graft in making appointments to the women’s commission.

The case is based on former MLA Barkha Singh Shukla’s complaint alleging that Maliwal, during her tenure as the head of the Delhi Commission for Women, gave jobs to persons known to her or who were affiliated with the Aam Aadmi party between July 2015 and August 2016.

The court had observed that the “essential ingredient of offence” under the Prevention of Corruption Act was missing from the chargesheet against Maliwal. It said that there was no evidence of Maliwal having obtained “any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage” through the impugned appointments.