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Waqf boards move to check mafia

BOTH THE Sunni and the Shia Central Waqf boards have repealed all their orders issued to district magistrates and commissioners in last couple of years. The decision, landmark in its own way, has been taken to check mafia who were taking advantage of the style of functioning of Board officials.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2006 00:21 IST

BOTH THE Sunni and the Shia Central Waqf boards have repealed all their orders issued to district magistrates and commissioners in last couple of years. The decision, landmark in its own way, has been taken to check mafia who were taking advantage of the style of functioning of Board officials.

The recognition to the Waqf Property Support and Development Committee has also been cancelled. The defunct committee was headed by Shaher Qazi Maulana Manzoor Ahmed Mazahari.

According to well-informed sources, the two boards have briefed the district magistrate on the fresh decision and they have been asked not to entertain any orders that do not bear signature of the chief executive officer (CEO) of the respective Boards in future.

All the orders issued in last two years regarding various waqf assets stand cancelled as they weren’t signed by the CEO. “The government has vested all powers in its nominee, the CEO, mainly to curb unscrupulous deals the board officials were striking at will because of decentralised way of working,” the sources said.

The order will hurt the mafia below the belt and has already raised many an eyebrow and some board members have approached the high court.

The district authorities here, however, heaved a big sigh of relief with this order.

The mafia eyeing assets of nearly 900 Sunni waqfs and 73 Shia waqfs were getting orders of their choice. And the administration was bound to execute the orders notwithstanding the fact that at times officials had to face serious law and order problems.

“In most cases the orders were passed without cross-checking relevant facts,” said an official. In one such case, waqf officials issued an order to let the mafia acquire ancestral property of former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Belgium. The order was promptly followed and when the former ambassador EhsanEhsan Haider represented his case, it was found the order was not only forged but its compliance had put a number of officials in the dock. In a knee-jerk reaction, district officials released the property to him and initiated an inquiry against those who had procured the order.

A detailed report had been sent with a word of advice to the Board by the administration on this issue.

Officials say with the CEO at the board, they expect a fall in forged orders, signed by the chairman. But hectic lobbying has begun here to challenge the order in court as most of them feel the order could undermine their authority in the lucrative business.

First Published: Mar 15, 2006 00:21 IST