Telangana Govt to HC: Iftar parties to benefit only poor Muslims

HYDERABAD: Telangana government on Friday informed the Hyderabad High Court that it would assure that all its iftar parties being organised in 800 mosques all over the state for the purpose of only benefitting the poorest of the Muslim community.

State additional advocate general J Ramachandra Rao conveyed this to a bench of acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice T Rajani that was hearing a PIL filed by social worker Lubna Sarwat who termed the extravaganza with the funds of the minorities’ as unconstitutional, TOI reported.

The bench had ordered the state to report the number of people who benefitted from the move. “You have to furnish us a list of beneficiaries, category wise, after Ramzan indicating how many destitute, orphans, poor widows, etc., got the benefit through your parties and gifts,” the bench asked the state government.

The petitioner’s counsel Sameer Ahmad told the court that Rs 60 crores which are meant to provide for the needy are wasted by the state on Iftar parties as well as on gift packs.

He cited the example of last year’s spending of Rs 3 lakh for just printing car passes and invitation cards for iftar party. The bench then posed series of questions to the minority welfare department counsel B S Prasad asking him to explain which poor Muslim would come in a car to have an iftar party.

“The fact that we are holding 420 parties in mosques in the GHMC limits and 380 mosques in the rural areas goes to show that our efforts are to reach out to only the poor Muslims,” Prasad said. “We will insist that the district collector and the relevant mosque committee screen the beneficiaries by putting a condition that only those with white ration cards and very poor must be given priority,” he said. The bench, however, refused to stay the continuance of iftar parties though the same was sought by the counsel for the petitioner.