The Gujarat government on Friday said it will constitute the state Waqf Board by August this year. The government made a statement in this regard in the Gujarat High Court in response to a PIL, which had sought appointment of a new Waqf Board after the term of the previous board in February 2016. Public prosecutor Manisha Lavkumar made the statement before a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi, noting that the government will appoint and notify the Waqf Board by August.
Even as the term of the previous Waqf Board ended in February last year, the chairman and other members continued to function. There are a number of litigations pending in the courts against the decisions, such as selling of Waqf properties, taken by the board led by its chairman A I Saiyed, retired IPS officer-turned BJP politician. This Monday, the state government had filed a reply after seeking adjournments on several occasions.
The reply stated that the new board will be formed by October, but, the petitioner filed a rejoinder arguing that by October the model code of conduct would be implemented for the Assembly polls. The division bench had sought government’s response, following which Lavkumar replied that the new board will be appointed by August. Following the statement made by Lavkumar, the division bench disposed of the PIL.