Dismay as ex-chairman still helms Wakf Board

Dismay as ex-chairman still helms Wakf BoardDismay as ex-chairman still helms Wakf Board

In an unprecedented act which has raised many an eye brow, the Wakf Board chairman, Mohammed Saleem, convened a meeting on Monday even as his term was officially ended in March.

Nampally: In an unprecedented act which has raised many an eye brow, the Wakf Board chairman, Mohammed Saleem, convened a meeting on Monday even as his term was officially ended in March.

There were mixed reactions and apprehensions, too, that he could be trying to get an extension before someone else takes charge. Wakf activists have raised an alarm over the development, as there has been no official communication from the government whatsoever on his continuation and, hence, they argued his holding the meeting violated norms and set a bad precedent.

Following Monday's meeting, questions are being raised about his authority, as not only his term but the term of at least four others including Asaduddin Owaisi, the incumbent MP, drew to a close in the event of Parliamentary elections. During the meeting, Saleem enquired about the collection of rents, recovery of arrears and also reviewed about important court cases.

He also reportedly said that these kinds of meetings would be held regularly. "How could he conduct a meeting, as his membership was invalidated by March-end, as his term as an MLC was over? Even he should not enter the chamber of the Chairman as there is no such provision," said Association of Save Waqf Properties general secretary Syed Ifteqar Hussaini.

While some others raised objections to the overall functioning of the Board, as no government order was issued for the continuation of the present committee. Salahuddin Parvez, general secretary of Osmanian Muslim Intellectuals Association, felt that the government should have done homework before the model code of conduct came into effect, by pondering over the technical issues which now cropped up.

"This is setting a bad precedent, as without any official communication, the Board is running though the term of half of its members is officially completed," he noted.

According to sources, the Wakf Board has turned headless as the CEO Shahnawaz Qasim remains on election duty, and Saleem's term as chairman has been completed. In the absence of Shahnawaz, B Shafiullah, the Secretary of TMREIS (Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society), was made the in-charge. But he is reportedly going on long leave from Wednesday.

Against this backdrop, Saleem was asked by some higher officials dealing with minority welfare to continue as the chairman albeit without any official order. This is viewed by some as appropriation of the position once again in garb of bringing in stability to the Wakf Board, where files are piling up each day.

Besides Wakf Board, all other departments housed in Haj House including TS Minority Finance Corporation, TS Urdu Academy and TS Haj Committee continue to remain in limbo. The term of MA Waheed (a retired IFS officer) who was heading TS Minority Finance Corporation as MD was also recently completed, even as he was given the responsibility of TS Urdu Academy. His term remains to be officially extended for both the departments.

Additionally, he was recently made in-charge of TS Haj Committee. Questions are being raised as to how a single officer (a retired IFS) is being provided responsibility of various departments, as if there is dearth of officers to handle the operations of these three departments.

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