CHENNAI: In a significant development, Governor Banwarilal Purohit has “superseded” the ‘Tamil Nadu Waqf Board (TNWB)’ and has appointed senior IAS officer M.A. Siddique to look after its administration.
It may be recalled that TNWB, which oversees the trust properties, lands including properties belonging to mosques in the state, had not been meeting for several months together which had created a controversy.
The TNWB, as per the Waqf Act, 1995, consists of 10 members and A. Anwhar Raajhaa, former MP from Ramanathapuram, was elected as its chairperson as a Muslim member of Parliament. But after his MPs’ tenure was over, he also ceased to be both member and chairman of the Waqf Board.
An official gazette notification issued here on Wednesday said that under the Waqf Act, “number of elected members should at all times be more than nominated members of the Board.” However, in its ‘present composition’, there are four elected members and six nominated members and the Board “is unable to perform its functions as per the Waqf Act.”
Though at present there are two Muslim MPs from Tamil Nadu, even after their appointment as ‘elected members’, nominated and elected members will be six each which does not fulfill the provisions of the Act, the gazette said.
With the number of elected members at present not being more than the nominated members and the state having the powers to ‘supersede’ the Board, the gazette says after consulting legal opinion and considering the “explanations of certain members, the Governor of Tamil Nadu supersedes the Tamil Nadu Waqf Board for a period of six months”, as the statutory provisions are not fulfilled.
Further, the Governor has appointed M. A Siddique, IAS, principal secretary to government (expenditure) finance department, to exercise and perform all the powers and duties under the provisions of the Waqf Act, 1955” on behalf of the Board during the period, the gazette added....