Digitalise Waqf record within 6 weeks: HC to Govt.

Hyderabad: Hyderabad High Court has directed the Telangana government to complete the digitalization process of Waqf record within 6 weeks and handover the record to Waqf Board. With this order, a division bench comprising of acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice G Shyam Prasad settled the Public Interest Litigation filed against the sealing of Waqf Board offices.

Hearing of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against government against sealing the Waqf Board offices and records was scheduled on Tuesday. Secretary Minority Welfare submitted affidavit on government’s behalf while Chief Executive Officer submitted affidavit on Waqf Board’s behalf.

The Court observed that as per Waqf Act, though government doesn’t have power to seal the offices and record however it accepts government’s argument that the offices were sealed for the protection of Waqf properties. Advocate general Prakash Reddy informed the Court that only one room in Waqf Board is under the custody of the Revenue Department where record pertaining to lands are kept. The remaining rooms have been opened for day to day work.

Petitioner’s lawyer argued that government should not be permitted to intervene into Waqf Board matters as there is a fear that valuable Waqf record may be lost. The court said the method adopted by the government may be wrong but the motive behind it is to protect the record. The court directed the government to hand over the record and database to the Board after completing the digitalization work.

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