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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

No chief of Waqf Board, AAP raises issue in House

The Delhi Waqf Board was dissolved in October 2016 by former L-G Najeeb Jung, after two of its members resigned alleging corruption. The matter had been referred to the CBI for a probe

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 18, 2018 2:27:02 am

The AAP Wednesday claimed that Lt Governor Anil Baijal does not want to appoint a chairperson for the Delhi Waqf Board, which is leading to “corruption” in the body. Discussing the matter in the Assembly, the AAP legislators urged the L-G to make an appointment to prevent “misuse” of its property.

The recommendation was made on the basis of the Assembly committee’s report on alleged corruption in the Delhi Waqf Board, which has found that a part of the land belonging to Hazrat Naseeruddin Aulia Dargah was illegally sold in connivance with some Delhi Waqf Board officials in 2016.

The Delhi Assembly’s Questions and Reference Committee, headed by Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla, had tabled a report regarding this in the House, recommending that the Chief Secretary initiate criminal and privilege proceedings against a section officer for sale of the property and also for giving “misleading” and “manipulated” deposition during investigation of the case.

The committee, in its report, concluded that the Delhi Waqf Board should be headed by a regular chairperson directly accountable to the members of the community and should have a regular CEO, who should have full-time responsibility of the Delhi Waqf Board.

It also asked the Chief Secretary to submit an action taken report to the House within a month. Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said the High Court had ordered to stop appointment of one of the members of the Waqf Board, but Baijal had stopped the formation of the board instead. He requested Baijal to take the “process forward so that the Waqf Board will have a chairman”.

The minister said that “Imams” had not been getting salaries for six months as there was no chairman. AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj also alleged that despite repeated correspondence, police did not file an FIR into the selling of the land belonging to Hazrat Naseeruddin Aulia Dargah.

“Nothing else but corruption can explain such connivance,” he said. He said the dargah officials, who had earlier said the land belonged to them, had gone back on their statement and had stated that they are not sure if it did.

Meanwhile, AAP MLA and former chairman of the Delhi Waqf Board, Amanatullah Khan, resigned as its member, and said his step might prompt the L-G to reconstitute the panel.

The Delhi Waqf Board was dissolved in October 2016 by former L-G Najeeb Jung, after two of its members resigned alleging corruption. The matter had been referred to the CBI for a probe.

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