In a fresh twist to Waqf Board-Auqaf-e-Shahi (royal trust) stand off, Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board has now enlisted help of late Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi's sister Saleha Sultan to oust Pataudi's daughter Saba Sultan as the custodian of the royal trust of erstwhile ruling party of Bhopal.
Saleha Sultan has expressed her desire to replace Saba as the custodian (mutawalli) of Auqaf-e-Shahi in writing. A copy of Saleha Sultan's letter is with the Waqf Board also, which it can use to dislodge Saba, said Shaukat Mohd Khan, chairman of the Waqf Board.
Meanwhile, in a major blow to Saba Sultan, MP Waqf Tribunal has refused to grant permanent stay prohibiting MP Waqf Board to remove Saba Sultan from mutawalli's post. "The decision by Waqf Tribunal means that MP Waqf Board had authority to remove mutawalli of Auqaf-e-Shahi," said chairman of MP Waqf Board, Shaukat Mohd Khan.
But while doing this, MP Waqf Board has to take care that only a member from the royal family is appointed as mutawalli, according to agreement between the Union of India and erstwhile ruler of Bhopal through which royal trust was formed.
It's here that Saleha Sultan's letter expressing desire to take over as custodian of royal trust may come in handy for the MP Waqf Board to dislodge Saba and replace her with her aunt.
Chairman of the Waqf Board, Khan made no qualms about it either when he said that the sister of late Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Saleha Sultan has expressed her interest to hold the post of mutawalli of the royal trust, if offered.
Earlier, MP Waqf Board had issued notices to the royal trust over serious irregularities including mismanagement of funds. Board had also issued orders for special audit of the royal trust as they have never given their audit reports to the MP Waqf Board, confirmed Khan.
However, advisor to Saba Sultan, Ghufran-e-Azam, who is a predecessor of Shaukat Mohd as MP Waqf Board chairman, while talking to HT reiterated that State Waqf Board does not have powers to decide upon matters related to Auqaf-e-Shahi.