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Friday, September 17, 2021

Haryana quashes Waqf Board after it fails to perform duties, appoints administrator

Former MLA Zakir Hussain has been appointed as the administrator of the Waqf Board. The decision was taken by the state government in pursuance of the August 12 order by Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
Updated: August 26, 2021 5:58:44 pm
Former MLA Zakir Hussein with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, (Photo: Facebook @mlazakirhussain)

Haryana government on Thursday quashed the Haryana Waqf Board, as it has failed to perform its duties. Additional chief secretary (home) Rajeev Arora issued the orders, Thursday and appointed former MLA Zakir Hussain as the administrator of the Waqf Board. The decision was taken by the state government in pursuance of the August 12 order by Punjab and Haryana High Court,

The board is managing 12,505 waqf properties falling in the jurisdiction of the Haryana state. A body corporate having perpetual succession, it was established by the state government first under section 13 (1) of the Waqf Act, 1995 on August 1, 2003. Previously, Haryana state was one of the constituent units of the erstwhile Punjab Waqf Board.

After the dissolution of the erstwhile Punjab Waqf Board (a composite board for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh) in 2003, the States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and union territory Chandigarh established separate Waqf Boards for their regions.

In the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a few people have challenged the March 6, 2020 notification of the Haryana government on the constitution of the Waqf Board.

In its order pronounced on August 12, 2021, the division bench comprising Justice AG Masih and Justice AK Verma had ordered, “One of the grounds for challenge of the said notification was that the procedure as prescribed under the Waqf Act, 1995 as amended in 2013 and also the Haryana Waqf Rules, 2012, have not been adhered to nor complied with”.

The judgement added, “Learned Advocate General, Haryana, very fairly concedes that the procedure as prescribed for the constitution of Board in the Statute and the Rules have not been strictly followed because of which the notification under challenge may not sustain. He further states that the Board would be reconstituted in accordance with the statutory provisions”.

Among the primary functions of the board include to manage all waqfs in the state and safeguard them from encroachment, to exercise its powers under the Waqf Act, 1995 to ensure that the waqfs under its supervision and management are properly maintained, controlled and administered and the income thereof is duly applied to the objects and for the purposes for which such waqfs were created or intended, to investigate and determine the nature and extent of a waqf, and to cause, wherever necessary, a survey of waqf properties, to generate and maintain the records of all waqf properties and so on.

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