Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Friday dissolved the Delhi Wakf Board and cancelled the appointment of Okhla legislator Amanatullah Khan as Wakf Board chairman and Mehboob Alam as its CEO.
Jung also recommended a CBI probe into their appointments and the reconstitution of the board by the AAP government.
The development comes at a time when a three-member committee is reviewing all decisions of the Arvind Kejriwal government that were taken without prior approval of the city administrator. The committee was constituted following the Delhi High Court order on August 4, declaring L-G as the city’s administrative head.
Amanatullah was appointed chairman in October 2015 while the board was reconstituted in March this year.
The L-G office declared the appointments “illegal and void ab initio”, for not having the approval of the competent authority and revoked the notifications concerned.
The secretary (revenue) will now run the affairs till a new board is constituted. The L-G also directed the official to reconstitute the board, which is custodian of a majority of the city mosques, graveyards besides several charitable institutions and commercial properties.
Jung has directed divisional commissioner A Anbarasu to constitute a committee to review the legality and propriety of all decisions taken by the board after its constitution in March 2016 and submit a report within a month.
“In view of the deliberate and persistent acts of illegality, violation of rules, allegations of corruption, possibility of malafide etc, the whole matter related to Delhi Wakf Board is referred to the CBI for investigation,” a statement from the L-G office said.
Sacked chairman Amanatullah termed the decision political vendetta. “Procedures were followed under the watch of the divisional commissioner. Why no questions were raised then. Even if the approval was mandatory, why dissolve the board. Post facto approval could be granted as everything was done as per the rules. We are being targeted, as I have been raising voices against the irregularities by previous board members,” Amanatullah told HT.
Earlier this month, Amanatullah had filed a complaint with the anti-corruption branch (ACB) alleging irregularities in the development of 62 bighas of Wakf land in Narela in 2006.
Before his complaint, a plaint was filed in the ACB by Mohammad Mustafa alleging recruitment scam in the board in 2016. Two members of the board had resigned alleging “corruption” and “irregularities in appointments” in the regime of Khan, who denied the charges. A team of ACB had raided board office on September 9.