Will Telangana govt replace Wakf CEO after orders from High Court?

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Monday lashed out at the state Wakf board chairman for his “inefficiency” in protecting the wakf properties from encroachments.  

The court remarked that the Wakf Board CEO Mohammed Qasim should immediately be removed as he seems to be equally involved in the illegal land grabbing.

The bench comprised of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Vijay Sen Reddy ordered the Telangana government to replace the CEO and find someone new who would be able to save the properties.

Telanagana wakf board properties include dargahs, graveyards, mosques, ashoorkhanas, chillas, and takias among others.

The court questioned if the present Wakf Board CEO Mohammed Qasim have any clue of the criminal procedure code.

The data available on the website of the state Wakf board reveals that 75% of its total properties have been encroached upon.

However, this only came to the limelight after the High Court bench went through the report submitted by the Wakf board. The report mentioned that as many as 86 Muslim graveyards in Hyderabad had encroached upon and the board had managed to get FIRs registered in only 5 cases.

Upon this, the High Court pulled the CEO for not taking any action. The court then remarked that approaching the jurisdictional magistrate and lodging a complaint was also an option as the court could then direct the police to register a case. The bench questioned the CEO and asked in how many cases this had been done, to which he responded by saying he wasn’t aware of this and that he had not read the criminal procedure code.

The Wakf chairman, as quoted by The News Minute, said that the Court asked him why cases were not filed against encroachers.

“It has just been three months since I joined. In the history of the Wakf Board, the authorities have never gone to the magistrate if an FIR was not filed. The standing counsel of the board did not guide me about this process,” he said.

“However, now the decision lies in hands of the principal secretary,” he added.