State asks Wakf Board to review 113 ‘shady’ deals

The ATR also calls for action against M S Siddique, a Wakf Board official, for illegally giving several Wakf properties on rents in the region.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 11, 2015 1:59 am

The Maharashtra government has directed the state’s Wakf Board to review and take action in 113 cases where its property meant for charitable purposes have been handed over to private persons or institutions at throwaway prices. It has also recommended streamlining of procedure to plug loopholes that allow Wakf Board members to bend rules.

State’s minister for minorities affairs Eknath Khadse on Friday tabled in the state Assembly the action taken report (ATR) on the report submitted by a Commission of Inquiry headed by retired judge ATAK Sheikh, which was set up in 2007 to probe the allegations that the Wakf Board officials bent rules to favour certain individuals. The ATR has also recommended action against those Wakf officials who facilitated the land transfer for lease or sale violating rules.

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The report names senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar and S U Pathan, both members of state Wakf Board, for allegedly flouting rules in handing over no-objection certificates to lease out nine Wakf Board properties in Mumbai and Aurangabad. The commission’s report says that in the absence of a chairman for the Wakf Board, such decisions amounted to violations of guidelines.

The list of 113 cases includes the Karim Ibrahimbhai Orphanage in Mumbai, whose land was sold to Antilia Commercial Property Limited for Rs 21.5 crore. The 48,768-sq feet plot is located at Malabar Hills and now houses the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

However, in the ATR, the government has stated that since the matter is in court, it has only directed the Wakh Board to pursue the case in the court.

However, the ATR mentions the commission’s findings on how the orphanage land was allowed to be sold to the Antilia Commercial Property Limited with the consent of the then Wakh Board chairman late M A Aziz and chief executive officer M Y Patel.

Another case the ATR highlights is that of Dargah Pir Karam Ali Shah Trust in Mumbai whose 1,200 square-metre property was given by the Wakf Board on lease for Rs 1,020 per month and a deposit of Rs 5 lakh in violation of guidelines. Holding Wakf Board officials responsible for the deal, the government has directed the Board to take action against its additional chief executive officer Aziz Ahmed.

Interestingly, of the 113 cases, almost 103 cases related to misuse of Wakf property have taken place in the Marathwada region. Most violations have been found in the districts of Aurangabad, Beed, Nanded, Parbhani and Jalna in Marathwada region.

The ATR also calls for action against M S Siddique, a Wakf Board official, for illegally giving several Wakf properties on rents in the region.

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