NEW DELHI: Lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung on Friday dissolved the Delhi Waqf Board, which was superseded by the Arvind Kejriwal government last year. The LG declared the reconstitution of the board by the AAP government and appointment of CEO as illegal and “void ab initio”. Citing “deliberate” and “persistent” acts of “illegality and violation of rules”, the LG has referred the “whole matter related to the Waqf Board” to the CBI for a probe.
The AAP government had appointed Okhla MLA Amantullah Khan as the chairman of the board. On Friday, he was quick to attack the LG, alleging that Jung was acting on the directions of the RSS and trying to save Congressmen who had indulged in corruption in the board. Khan’s appointment too did not have the approval of the LG. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal later took to twitter to say: “Agricultural land circle rates declared void, Manish (Sisodia) summoned by ACB, Waqf Board disbanded — several obstacles being created only bcoz v doing gud work.”
The LG’s office had issued a statement on the matter earlier in the day. The secretary (revenue), as per Section 99(2) of the Waqf Act, will exercise all powers and duties of the board till it is reconstituted. S M Ali, special secretary (environment and forests), has been given the additional charge of CEO of the board till further orders. Delhi’s revenue secretary, A Anbarasu, has been asked to initiate steps for reconstitution of the board. He has also been directed to set up a committee to review the legality and propriety of all decisions and action taken by the board after its constitution in March and submit a report within a month.
“The revenue department’s notifications, dated October 8, 2015, superseding the Delhi Waqf Board, and 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,” said the LG’s statement. Since the term of the board, constituted in 2011, was to expire in December 2016 and five out of the seven members have already resigned, no purpose is served in reviving the board. Therefore, the body is superseded under Section 99 of the Act till the expiry of its term,” it was explained. Two members of the board had earlier resigned alleging “corruption” and “irregularities in appointments” during Amanatullah Khan’s tenure. The Okhla MLA had, however, denied the charges.
Meanwhile, Khan said he had not received any official order from the LG’s office and claimed that in the evening SM Ali and SDM (Daryaganj) came with police and sealed the board’s office. “The LG is acting on the directions of the RSS. He is trying to protect Congressmen who indulged in corruption in the Waqf. I was trying to bring out the corruption, so I am being harassed first through a case in ACB on appointments made in the Waqf and now by dissolving the board and referring the matter to CBI,” he said. The LG’s office said a detailed order was sent to the government on Friday.
“The LG is working as if there is no Delhi government. It is as if there is President’s Rule in place. The Waqf Board is an autonomous body and comes under the Delhi government,” he said. Khan has been in the news earlier for two different complaints — one of alleged sexual harassment and another of alleged molestation. FIRs were registered against him in both matters. The MLA has consistently denied the allegations and held that he was being framed.
Credits ET Realty