The Shia Central Board of Waqfs Wednesday issued notices to five persons, including one to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, for illegally purchasing waqf properties in Meerut and Lucknow districts of Uttar Pradesh. The notice, accusing Mallya of purchasing nearly 10 bigha of waqf land for his United Spirits Limited in Meerut, has been sent to his Banglore and Dubai addresses. At present, a liquor factory is running on the land.
“Notice has been served to Mallya for purchasing waqf land, which is illegal. He has been summoned on August 10 with relevant documents,” Board chairman Sayed Wasim Rizvi said.
Rizvi claimed that the land of Waqf Syed Mohammad registered as waqf number T-2554 is situated at Kankarkheda, Abdullahpur locality in Meerut. As per waqf records, the land measuring over 10 bighas are in possession of United Spirits Private Limited.
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As per official website of United Spirits Limited, Mallya is chairman of the company.
Hussain Ahmed, the mutawalli (caretaker) of the said property, in a letter dated July 2, 2015, had informed the Board about its illegal possession. “Illegal grabbing of waqf property will not allowed. Also running a liquor factory on such land is against Islam and waqf provisions. We have issued notice to Mallya and if he doesn’t turn up, we will be free to take ex-parte decision,” Rizvi said.
Rizvi claimed that the said land was registered as waqf property on April 26, 1918, by Syed Mohammad. Later, his relatives leased it to one Lala Hansraj in 1937 for 50 years for setting up a Central Distillery and Chemical Factory. “Lala Hansraj later transferred it to United Spirits. The lease deed signed with Lala Hansraj expired in 1987. So, the waqf property is under illegal possession now,” Rizvi said. “We have conducted our inquiry and verified the revenue records. It is a waqf property and we will recover it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rizvi has also issued notices to four persons who had purchased property, which is registered as Waqf Karbala Abbas Bagh, at Hardoi Road in Lucknow. “We have identified 14 properties under Karbala Abbas Bagh, which have been sold. These waqf properties are worth Rs 200 crore and has been illegally sold. We are in possession of four sale deeds and have issued notices for cancellation of these sale deeds,” Rizvi said.
Karbala Abbas Bagh is currently managed by caretaker Malka Zamani and her family members. “We have also issued showcause notice asking why she shouldn’t be relived of her responsibility as mutawalli for failing to protect the waqf property and instead selling it,” he said.
On Monday, the Board had sent its team along with revenue officials to measure the four properties but the members were allegedly chased away by Malka Zamani’s relatives. “We have informed local police about the incident,” Rizvi said.
Next on radar are the waqf properties in Rampur, which have been allegedly misappropriated. “I have sent a letter to district magistrate of Rampur to submit a report within 20 days. Action will be taken after his report is received,” Rizvi said.