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L-G dissolves Waqf Board, Khan to challenge order in court

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today dissolved the Delhi Waqf Board constituted by the Kejriwal government and referred to the CBI the matter related to "irregularities" in the body, setting the stage for another round of confrontation between the AAP dispensation and the Centre.

Jung declared the reconstitution of the board, quashing all appointments made by its incumbent Chairman and AAP MLA from Okhla Amanatullah Khan.

Khan said the Lt Governor's order will be challenged in court.

Jung has directed Divisional Commissioner A Anbarasu to constitute a committee to review the legality and propriety of all decisions and action taken by the Board after its constitution in March 2016 and submit 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 Waqf Board is referred to the CBI for investigation," the L-G office said in a statement.

Earlier this week, two members of the board had resigned alleging "corruption" and "irregularities in appointments" in the regime of Khan, who denied the charges.

"Revenue Department's notification dated October 8, 2015 superseding the Delhi Waqf Board dated March 11, 2015 reconstituting the Delhi Waqf Board and orders of services department dated April 28, 2016 appointing Mehboob Alam as CEO are declared illegal and void ab initio, for not having obtained the approval of the competent authority and are revoked immediately," the statement added.

SM Ali, Special Secretary (Environmnet and Forests), was given additional charge of Chief Executive Officer of the Board, till further orders.

Since, the term of the previous Board constituted in 2011 was to expire in December 2016 and five out of seven members have already resigned, no purpose is served in reviving the Board and therefore the body is superseded under Section 99 of the Act, till the expiry of its term, it further stated.

It said Secretary (Revenue) as per Section 99(2) of the Waqf Act will exercise all powers and duties of the Board, till it is reconstituted.

Delhi Waqf Board chairman Amantullah Khan alleged that the Board office was "sealed" by an SDM backed by police force after taking "forceful possession".

"They forcefully took possession of the Waqf Board and SM Ali accompanied by an SDM and police force came and sealed the office of Board. What does LG want to prove by such act," Khan said.

He alleged the Board was dissolved since he was "opening up cases of corruption in the past."

"Since I was fighting for 1100 Big ha of land occupied by DDA and opening other cases of corruption the Board was dissolved hurriedly. But there is an elected government, we will challenge LG's order in court," he added.

The Waqf Board was superseded by the Delhi government in

October last year and all its powers and duties were transferred to the secretary (revenue).

Khan was unanimously elected as the new chairman of the reconstituted Board by its members in March this year.

The Board faced charges of corruption in appointments made under the tenure of Khan and the ACB launched a probe into the alleged "recruitment scam" on a complaint of one Mohammad Mustafa in September.

The Anti-Corruption Branch had raided Waqf Board office on September 8 and questioned Khan.

Khan had alleged ACB of targeting him on the "behest of Lt Governor" for unearthing "scams" by previous chairmen of Delhi Waqf Board under Sheila Dikshit regime.

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First Published: Fri, October 07 2016. 21:57 IST