Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan is no longer the chairman of the Delhi Waqf Board, with the city’s Revenue Department issuing an order stating that the position is deemed to have fallen vacant on February 11, the day the sixth Delhi Assembly got dissolved.
The order issued on March 20 invokes Section 14(1) of the Waqf Act, 1995. Khan has been leading the Delhi government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts in the northeast district of the city which witnessed communal riots last month in which at least 53 lives were lost.
The Okhla MLA has also been defending suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, who is in police custody for his alleged role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma during the riots.
“The journey between September 2018 (when he was made the chairman) and March 2020 was good. I am happy that I could help the poor and the needy and extend to them their right,” Khan, who was re-elected from the Okhla seat by over 70,000 votes, tweeted.
Section 14(1) of Waqf Act, 1995 states that in case a Muslim member of the board ceases to be an MLA, he should be deemed to have vacated his office.
“As Delhi Legislative Assembly had got dissolved on February 11, 2020 and the members of the newly constituted assembly took oath on February 24, the statutory provisions of Section 14 of the Waqf Act, 1995 got attracted with effect from 11.02.2020.”
Importantly, the order issued by a Deputy Commissioner ranked officer of the department added that Khan could not have taken any action in his official capacity, “including taking any decisions or signing any cheques”, on behalf of the board starting February 11.
Khan has issued several monetary compensation cheques over the last one month for the victims of the riots. Even on March 17, two cheques of Rs 2 lakh each were issued to two Hindu families by Khan. It was not immediately clear on what happens to those cheques, even as Delhi government sources maintained that the matter was purely technical and Khan will soon be reinstated.
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