Wakf takes control of Madina group assets

DC | S.A. ISHAQUI
Published Jan 16, 2014, 4:46 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 6:39 am IST
Encroachment into property an offence, says new legislation.

Hyderabad: In a significant move, the AP State Wakf Board on Wednesday took possession of Wakf property in the city worth several crores of rupees.

The Wakf Board has also taken control of the Allauddin Wakf properties at Madina Hotel in the Old City.

 

The Wakf Board has taken over five properties of the Madina Education and Welfare Society that will be run under the direct control of the Wakf Board.

Wakf Board special officer and minority welfare commissioner S. Md Iqbal said here at a press conference that Baitul Madina (Madina Education Centre) at Nampally, Madina Manzil at Himayatnagar, Madina Mahal at Hyderguda and 10 shops at Vittalwadi and Madina Villa at Dilawargunj in Mangalhat have been taken over.

He made it clear that the Board will take steps to ensure that the staff and students of Madina institutions will not be disturbed; most of the buildings house education institutions.

 

Iqbal said that these properties were under the control of Anjuman Dasti Parcha Bafi Harmain Shareefain, a society registered in 1947 and the revenue generated by these properties was sent to Madina in Saudi Arabia for the welfare of weavers’ families there. Now that no weavers are left in Madina, it has been decided to use the revenue for the education of Muslim children.

The reason for the take-over of the properties by the Wakf Board is misappropriation of funds by K.M. Arifuddin, who had declared himself mutawalli (caretaker) of these properties from 1984 to 1989. Later he formed the Madina Education and Welfare Society in 1991 and granted lease of these properties to the society.

 

According to Iqbal, the actual annual income of the properties is around Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore, but Arifuddin has paid just Rs 11,777 towards the Wakf fund to the Wakf Board, stating that the earnings were just Rs 1,69,671.

Report on irregularities submitted in HC

Hyderabad: Referring to a case pending in the High Court against inaction of the Wakf Board in implementing the House Committee report and a one-man committee report against the Madina Society, Wakf Board special officer and minority welfare commissioner S. Md Iqbal said that inquiry officer M.A. Hafiz Siddiqui submitted a report that showed irregularities in the Madina Education and Welfare Society.

 

The Wakf Board then served a notice and did not receive any reply from K.M. Arifuddin, who had declared himself mutawalli (caretaker) of these properties from 1984 to 1989. He said that the report of the committee was also accepted.

He said that the High Court has sought a report from the Board on this case and the report will be sent before January 27. He said that a case under provisions of the Wakf Act and also under the Indian Penal Code will be booked against Arifuddin.

Citing the House Committee recommendations in the year 1977, he said that it had recommended action against Mohammad Siddiqui, Mahmud Siddiqui, Mir Kamaluddin Ali Khan and Mohammad Laiq Ali Khan and other officials of the Board in this case.

 

As they were already retired, the Wakf Board has sought legal opinion about taking action against them.

Wakf gets more teeth now

Hyderabad: The Wakf (Amendment) Act 2013, which has recently received Presidential assent, makes encroachment of Wakf properties a cognisable offence. Unauthorised occupants of Wakf properties face rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years under the new legislation.

This punishment covers those who alienate, purchase or take possession of Wakf property, either movable or immovable, without prior sanction of the Wakf Board concerned.

 

The Centre found that the the Wakf Act 1995 was inadequate to prevent encorachment of Wakf property, or help in their protection and preservation.

The Centre subsequently proposed amendments to the Act in 2010. The amendments were introduced in the Lok Sabha on April 27, 2010, and passed on May 7 that year.

They were referred to a select committee, which made certain suggestions to strengthen Wakf institutions and streamline their functioning.

The amendments, that were approved by the President recently, empower the Wakf Board to extend the lease of Wakf property up to 30 years.

 

As per the existing provisions, that power was limited to three years

The amendments also enable the Wakf Boards to lease out properties for development of educational institutions, shopping centres, markets, housing or residential flats.

They empower the Wakf Tribunal to assess damage caused by unauthorised occupation of property and to penalise the occupants. The tribunal can recover the damages as arrears of land revenue through the district collector concerned.

The tribunal has also been empowered to punish any public servant, who fails to prevent or remove an encroachment, with Rs 15, 000 as fine for each offence. The new Act empowers the Tribunal to pass eviction orders on illegal encroachers as well.

 

Significantly, the legislation says that if the Wakf tribunal has adjudged that any property has been occupied by government agencies it shall be returned to the Board or the mutawalli within six months from the date of its order.

Regarding the contentious issue of acquiring of Wakf properties, the new legislation makes it mandatory for the government to prove that the purpose for which the land is being acquired is undisputedly for a public purpose and that no alternative land is available for the purpose.

In case of such acquisition of Wakf properties, the government has to pay compensation at the prevailing market value or provide the Wakf Board with a suitable piece of land with reasonable solatium in lieu of the acquired property.

 

...
Location: Andhra Pradesh




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