Hyderabad: The Wakf Board’s lack of attention has led a prime property in Maheshwaram village running the risk of getting sold. The board woke up only when a person tried to transfer the property in Maheshwaram that had been endowed in favour of the Muslim Maternity Hospital managed by the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Though the value of the property is approximately Rs 2,000 crore, it has been sold for just Rs 50 crore. However, the board is now trying to do its best in protecting the land.
According to records of the Wakf Board, a land spread over survey numbers 231, 242, 252, 258 to 269, 280, 281, 450, 451, 457, 458, 459, 469, 486, 487 and
518 of Maheshwaram village and mandal in Ranga Reddy district, measuring 428 acres, was endowed in 1970 by Syed Jamaluddin in favour of Muslim
Maternity Hospital run by Islamic Social Services Society (ISSS), a wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
Stating that it was Wakf land, the society wanted the Land Reforms Tribunal, Hyderabad south, to exempt it from the AP Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agriculture
Holding) Act 1975. Subsequently, the tribunal exempted the land through Proceedings 3948/1/75 dated 30-12-1977. The society succeeded in acquiring Patta passbook in its favour in 1982.
Later, the ISSS vice-president addressed a letter to Wakf Board on 16-6-1988 requesting to register the land as wakf. The board took 17 years to make an entry into the Book of Endowment under Section 36 of the Wakf Act. It issued Muntakhab on 14-10-2005 after it came to know that the property was alienated. It did not publish an extraordinary gazette in this regard. It is pertinent to mention here that the land parcel was alienated by the society to various purchasers, including Vision Ventures in parts from 06-09-2005 to 15-12-2006.
In a face-saving exercise, the Wakf Board issued notice to the ISSS on 15-03-2008 when the matter was raised by MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi at a House Committee meeting about alienation of the property. The society replied on 14-03-2008 and asked the Board to ratify its record as the property was not
endowed, but gifted. It advised the Wakf Board to delete the property from its records. Later, under political pressure, authorities of the Wakf Board and officials of Minorities Welfare Board changed their stand and issued withdrawal letters to the ISSS secretary and sub-registrar on 09-05-2008 against the legal opinion of then law officer.
The matter of alienation of this prime land once again surfaced in August 2009. The Wakf Board then passed a resolution to file a criminal against its officers
and secretary of the society, whose signatures were found in the documents of transfer of title. Subsequently, a criminal complaint was lodged by the then board
CEO B.S. Farooq against former special officer M.A. Quddus, former CEO Shaik Madhar Saheb, then advocate counsel S.M. Subhani of the Wakf Board and
then ISSS secretary Azharuddin.
The Abids police registered a criminal case under Indian Penal Code Sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal
conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death) in criminal case 265 of 2009. The case was transferred to the Central Crime Station. In the meantime,
Wakf Board addressed a letter to the registration department requesting it not to entertain the transaction pertaining to the particular land in Maheshwaram.
Thereafter, the Wakf Board remained silent for about 10 years.
Board officials allegedly did not cooperate with the investigating officers resulting in the CCS closing the case. During the whole decade, Wakf Board
authorities did not take legal action to cancel the registration deeds to protect the land parcel. However, when the purchasers approached the sub-registrar and
revenue office to transfer properties to others, they were asked to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Wakf Board.
Subsequently, the Ranga Reddy collector sent a letter on 28-03-2019 seeking a detailed clarification and raising points of law in the matter. The board replied on
05-10-2019 merely reminding that the property still belonged to the Wakf Board, but failed to clarify queries in a satisfactory manner.
Asked about the matter, Wakf Board chairman Mohammed Saleem said he came to know about the matter recently and was shocked.
He asked officials to take measures to protect the land and held discussions with senior lawyers. The matter will be placed before the next meeting of the Wakf
Board, which will be held within a week.
“All measures will be taken to protect the prime land. We will also file a case to get the registration done by the society cancelled,” Mr Saleem said....