Telangana State Wakf Board might land in legal row

Chairman's term as MLC to end; appointment of CEO challenged in HC.

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Wakf Board is likely to be involved in a legal complication in the near future, which could result in a change in the two top posts of chairman and chief executive officer.

Mohammed Saleem will lose his post as the chairman of the board when his tenure as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) ends. The nature of his office as a member of the board is coterminous with him ceasing to be a MLC.

Mr Saleem’s term will be ending next month, and his name has not surfaced in the list of MLC candidates announced by Chief Minister and president of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Thus he will have to relinquish the post of chairman. Sources in the TRS said the party may field MLC Mohammed Fareeduddin for the electoral college of the State Legislative Assembly in place of Mr Saleem.

The three present members of the board are Waheed Ahmed, Mirza Anwar Baig and Malik Motasim Khan. They are also in the race for the next chairman.

According to a Waqf Act, a Muslim member who ceases to be a Member of the State Legislative Council shall be deemed to have vacated the office of member of the Board from the date from which such member ceased to be Member of the Legislative Council.

Likewise, the state government may have to replace Shahnawaz Qasim as in-charge CEO to the Wakf Board as Mr Qasim’s (who is also director, Minorities Welfare) appointment has been challenged in the High Court, and the government had assured the high court that it will appoint a regular CEO in compliance with section 23 of the Wakf Act and rule 14 of the Telangana State Waqf Board Rules.

Osman bin Mohammed Alhajiri, president of the Deccan Wakf Protection Society, says the TRS government has constituted the board in gross violation of the Wakf Act.

At least three members were inducted onto the Board though they were not eligible for their respective categories. Also, while electing the members under Mutawalli categories, the government did not adhere to the conditions laid down in the Act, he said.

He suggested that the government dissolve the board and constitute it again in compliance with the Wakf Act.

One Mohammed Nizamuddin has filed a writ petition challenging the appointment of Mr Qasim and seeking the process for a regular appointment for the post of the CEO of the Wakf Board and the government has assured the court it will appoint a regular CEO.

Syed Ali Jaffry, general secretary of the City BJP Minority Morcha, and in-charge State Wakf Affairs, has raised questions about the functioning of the Minority Welfare Department in relation to the Telangana State Wakf Board. He said at this crucial time when an honest IPS officer who was leading the investigation into case of the prime Wakf properties attached, in which some high level politician are involved, his removal from the position of CEO, Wakf Board is inevitable to avoid legal consequences.

Mr Jaffry said the reason behind the issuance of defective proceeding of appointment of the CEO by the MWD in 2017 is unclear and raises many questions such as whether such proceedings are issued with an intent to make sure honest officers can be easily removed from their positions when someone wants to.

The TRS government has not shown any interest in the protection and preservation of Wakf properties as it claimed it would do before the formation of Telangana, he argued.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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