Telangana HC allows Saleem to continue as Wakf Board Chairman

Freedom Press Bureau

Hyderabad, Oct 28: The Telangana High Court on Thursday allowed Mohammed Saleem, the current chairman of State Waqf Board, to continue in the post of chairman of the board even after the expiry of his six-year MLC term, which ended on 23rd March 2019.

Dismissing the writ Petition filed by Sultan Khan, questioning Saleem’s continuation. Justice A Rajshekar Reddy announced that section 15 of the Central Wakf Act protects the tenure of Saleem at the Waqf Board.

Appearing for Saleem, senior counsel D Prakash Reddy, Advocate General BS Prasad representing the Minorities Welfare Department, and State Waqf Board Advocate M.A. Mujeeb jointly opposed the plea stating that the ceasing to be a member of legislature would result in cessation of the waqf membership only if the member lost his legislator post on account of being disqualified or through some legal friction but not on account of the normal expiry of his term at the legislature. Moreover, Section 15 of the Central Wakf Act only states about the MPs, MLAs and not about MLCs.

The State Waqf Board consists of 11 Members. 6 Elected and 5 Nominated by the state government. The elected Members are Chairperson, Mohammed Saleem, One Muslim Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi, One Muslim Member of State Legislative Assembly Mohammed Moazam Khan, One Member of Telangana Bar Council M.Zakeer Hussain Javid, One from Managing Committee Mirza Anwar Baig, and One from Muthavalli Syed Akbar Nizamuddin Hussaini.

The other five nominated Members are Malik Motasim Khan, Dr. Syed Nissar Hussain, Waheed Ahmed, Tafseer Iqbal, IPS and Dr. Sofia Begum.

The judge also posted another plea that questioned the continuation of four more members of the board including IPS officer Tafseer Iqbal. The AG opposed it stating that ever every member of the Waqf Board will have a five-year tenure and they have the right to continue till the end of this tenure.

Saleem thanks Almighty, KCR, and state government

Welcoming the High Court judgment in his favour Mohammed Saleem thanked the Almighty, Telangana State Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, and the state government for supporting him in the legal battle.

Speaking to ‘The Freedom Press,’ Saleem said that conspiracies can never defeat me in my fight to save Waqf properties. The Telangana High Court ordered a full-tenure opportunity to me and I will safeguard the waqf properties across the state.

Expressing his gratitude to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, Saleem said, ‘Under the able leadership and guidance of KCR, the board is identifying and protecting all Wakf properties in the State.

Efforts would be made to free the land from encroachers through all legal means. “Serious action will be taken against illegal occupants for claiming Wakf land as private land by producing fake documents, and this case will also be transferred to CB-CID,” Saleem added.

Stating about the new reforms during his tenure Saleem said that over Rs. One crore of revenue is generated from Urs Nazro Niyaz annually from Dargah Jahangir Peeran, Hz. Syed Sadullah Hussain (Bada Pahad), Dargah Annaram Shareef (Warangal) and Dargah Janpahad (Nalgonda).Earlier the board was receiving merely Rs. 25 lakhs.

Over 44000 acres of Waqf Land across the state was purified with the land records. Number of Waqf institutions including Masjids, Dargahs, Chilla’s, graveyards, etc were protected by conducting a high-level meeting with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Revenue Dept, Officials from Municipal, Gram Panchayat during the expansion of Hyderabad-Banglore Highway.

Saleem further stated that strick action is taken if graveyard management were found charging money for the funeral. He also said that Waqf Board will inspect Masjids and graveyards division wise on weekly basis in the near future.

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