The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government how it can allow MLA Amanatullah Khan to be appointed as chairperson of the waqf board when a special audit has been initiated to look into allegations of irregularities against him. A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad posed the query to the Delhi government during the hearing of a plea seeking quashing of a notification which called for a meeting of the elected waqf board members on Monday evening to elect one of them, including Amanatullah, as the chairperson.
"Issue is whether a person facing serious allegations of irregularities should be allowed to be made chairperson of the board when the Delhi government has ordered a special audit regarding allegations against him. "Why should he be allowed to be part of the system when there are serious allegations against him," the bench said.
The observations by the bench came while hearing a PIL by Mohd Iqbal Khan, filed through advocate Vijay Kinger, seeking quashing of the notification on the ground that if the AAP MLA is elected as chairperson the special audit report would be placed before him. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi government, said the board has nothing to do with the special audit and its findings would go directly to the government.
The bench then asked whether Khan intends to contest for the post of chairperson. Advocate K C Mittal, appearing for Khan, told the bench that if his name is nominated by any member of the board, then he will contest.
In view of the submission, the court said the issues raised in the petition need to be considered and it was not possible on Monday due to paucity of time. The bench listed the matter for hearing on November 9 after ASG Jain said the meeting of the board to elect a chairperson would be deferred till November 19.
The high court also asked the ASG to place before it on the next date the rule(s) and judgements which permit a third party to challenge waqf board elections before a tribunal set up for the purpose. The petitioner, who claims to be a social worker, said the notification calling for a meeting of the board members on October 19 was issued on October 7 and therefore, he did not have the time to move a representation to the concerned authority.
He has alleged in his petition that there are also several criminal cases against the AAP MLA. He has contended that since the report of the special audit was yet to come, it was "not justified" to issue the notification calling for the meeting.