The government has decided to come down heavily on corruption, mismanagement and administrative irregularities in the Kerala State Wakf Board (KSWB) as revealed in the report of the M.A. Nissar Commission.
In the Action Taken Report (ATR) on the recommendations of the Commission, tabled by Wakf Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty in the Assembly on Thursday, the government made it clear that it had decided to initiate several steps to clean up the functioning of the Wakf Board and bring about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Wakf Board and the institutions under it.
The Commission had found serious lapses on the part of the Wakf Board's chief executive officer and sought his removal from service, particularly for the irregularities in the construction of the Wakf Board headquarters and appointment of staff in violation of the Kerala State Wakf Board Act and Regulations.
The Commission, which had taken serious exception to the inordinate delay or total failure in the auditing of accounts of Wakf institutions, mainly on account of the non-cooperation of the institution authorities, had asked the government to initiate action against the erring ‘muthavallies' (local custodian of Wakf property) under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. It had also asked the government to issue suitable directions to the Director-General of Police and the Director, Vigilance, to set the law in motion against corruption and misappropriation of funds by the muthavallies.
The Commission was of the view that the Wakf Board must have a Vigilance Officer in the rank of Dy.SP to conduct preliminary investigation into cases of illegal alienation of Wakf properties resulting in heavy financial and property loss. It had cited the unauthorised exchange of a 118-acre rubber estate belonging to the Mukham Muslim Orphanage for a building at Mannarakkad without assessing the value of the estate and the sale of 404 acres of Wakf land by the Farooque College, Kozhikode, without permission from the Wakf Board as two major instances of illegal alienation of Wakf properties. The Commission had sought action by the Advocate-General to fight the case before the Kerala High Court and the District Collector to prevent mutation of the latter property.