Jolt to Yogi Govt as Allahabad High Court Reinstates Six Shia Waqf Board Members
A vacation bench quashed the order on the grounds that they were not provided an opportunity of hearing, which was mandatory under the Waqf Act 1995.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath had ordered the dissolution of the board on June 16.
Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Friday quashed the Uttar Pradesh government order to dissolve the Shia Waqf Board and reinstated six members that were removed with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s sanction.
A vacation bench in Lucknow comprising justices Rajan Roy and S N Agnihotri reversed the order on the grounds that they were not provided an opportunity of hearing, which was mandatory under the Waqf Act 1995.
The state government had ordered the dissolution of the board on June 16 over allegations of irregularities and corruption over Waqf properties. The bench asked the state government to produce the original probe report and documents on the basis of which the six members of Waqf Board removed.
While granting 24 hours to additional Advocate General Ramesh Kumar Singh to make the government's stand clear on the issue, the court expressed concerns over the removal of nominated board members.
Speaking to News18, chairman of Shia Waqf Board, Waseem Rizvi said, “I had already said that these allegations against the Waqf board were baseless. The court had asked the government to furnish documents to prove their claim of corruption, which they could not provide. Hence, today the honourable court reinstated all the members removed the Government. The board will continue to function without any pressure.”
On June 16, the Uttar Pradesh government had passed orders to dissolve UP Shia and Sunni Waqf Boards on charges of corruption after a fact-finding committee of the Central Waqf Council submitted report to the government.
A day later, the government had ordered for the removal of Shia Waqf Board members including former Rajya Sabha member Akhtar Hassan, Moradabad's Sayyed Wali Haider, Afsha Zaidi of Muzaffarnagar, Sayyed Azim Hussain, Nazmul Hassan Rizwi and Alima Zaidi of Bareilly. All six were nominated by the previous Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party government.
The report also said that Azam Khan started a trust named Maulana Johar Ali Education Trust, through which he diverted funds from Waqf properties to it. The report also pointed out discrepancies in maintaining rent collection records of Waqf properties.
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