The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notices to the state government, Gujarat Waqf Board and Central Waqf Council on a public interest litigation (PIL), challenging the state Waqf Board’s move for allegedly granting “unauthorised and illegal” sale permit of Waqf properties.
This is the second PIL that has challenged the functioning of the Waqf Board, saying the tenure of the members ended on February 21 this year, and sought the court’s direction for the appointment of a new Board. These PILs have been filed by a body called Save Waqf Properties, through its chairman.
The division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi issued notices in connection with both the PILs to the state and other parties. The petitioner has said that the amended Waqf Act of November 2013, Section 51 (1)(A), prohibits “gift, sale, exchange or mortgage” of the Waqf properties after the amended act came into effect.
It alleged that Waqf Board chairman A I Saiyed himself granted permission for the sale of Waqf properties with CEO Gulam Mustufa Khan raising no objection, adding that the sale was “illegally perpetrated”.
In response to a query by the Central Waqf Council about the same, the Board said it granted permission to sell 26 properties, but this was before the notification came into effect.
These properties are located in Kheda, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Valsad, Jamnagar and other places.