June 18, 2021 2:18:15 am
The Allahabad High Court has sought a response from the UP government and UP Sunni Central Waqf Board while hearing a petition challenging the election of the Board and its chairman, Zufar Farooqui, in March. The petition was filed by activist Allamah Zameer Naqvi and the mutawalli of a Waqf property in Kanpur, Asad Muneer.
The petition said, “The entire election process was not done in accordance with the mandatory provision laid down in the Waqf Act, 1995… as well as the U.P. Shia central Waqf board and U.P. Sunni central Waqf board conduct of Election Rules, 1997…”
Senior Advocate Syed Farman Ahmad Naqvi, who is representing the petitioners, said the election result of Sunni Central Waqf Board, announced on March 11, was challenged. “The ground for challenge is that newly elected Chairman Zufar Farooqui is a member of a Waqf, against which charges of illegal transfer of Waqf land in his own name had been initiated in 2009. His action violated section 64 of the Waqf Act. Meanwhile, he became the Board Chairman and withdrew the proceeding by passing an order in his own favour. It has further been challenged on the ground that the accounts of Waqf, of which Farooqui is Mutawalli, had not been audited since over a decade. Under section 46 and 47 of Waqf, the audit should be done annually,” said Naqvi.
The petition has sought “quashing of the entire election process of U.P. Sunni central Waqf board, Lucknow, as well as the final result published on March 9, 2021…”
While hearing the plea on Wednesday, a Bench of Justices Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Dinesh Pathak issued notice to all respondents, and sought a response by July 9, when the petition has been listed for hearing.
On Thursday, Faroorqui told The Indian Express that he will respond to the court notice within the prescribed time. “There are many issues with the petition such as if the election has to be challenged, then why now. All elections since 1997 have been held in the same manner. Then the petitioner has no locus standi in this case. He belongs to the Shia community, and has not challenged the election of Shia Waqf Board, which is done under the same rules and regulations. We will submit a detailed reply in court soon,” said Faroorqui.
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