The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has ventured to give adequate representation to women when four new female members were elected to the 51-member executive committee of the top representative body of the Muslims in the country.

With this, the total number of women members in the executive panel has increased to five. The elections were conducted on Saturday, the second day of the 21st general session of the Muslim Law Board.

The four new female members are Rukhsana Lari, Safia Naseem (both from Lucknow), Noorjehan Shakeel (Kolkata) and Asma Zehra (Hyderabad). Naseem Iqtidar Ali Khan was till now the sole woman member in the executive committee. She continues to be on the panel.

Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadwi was unanimously elected the president of the Law Board for the third successive term. He was first elected as chairman in the Hyderabad session of AIMPLB, followed by his re-election in the Chennai session. Maulana Nadwi's name was proposed by the AIMPLB vice chairman, Maulana Syed Kalbe Sadiq. Since there were no other names for the post, the Maulana was elected unanimously.

Another significant feature of Saturday's elections was the Board's attempt to expand its representation in the north-eastern States and Ladakh. The representatives from these regions were elected as term members. While, Maulana Bilal was elected from Meghalaya and Syed Ahmed from Tripura, the Independent MP from Ladakh ( Jammu and Kashmir), Ghulam Hussain and Maulana Ata-ur- Rehman, AUDF (Assam United Democratic Front ) MLA from Badarpur in Assam were elected term members from Ladakh and Assam.

Announcing the results of the elections, the AIMPLB spokesperson, Zafaryab Jilani said the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, K. Rahman Khan and retired justice, Mohammad Qadri were made the life members of the board. Mr. Jilani said these appointments were made against the eight vacancies among the 102 founder members of the Law Board.

He said, Kamal Farooqui, Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Saifullah Rahmani, Maulana Atiqur Rehman Bastavi and Syed Athar Ali of Mumbai were the new faces elected as term members. Mr. Jilani said 10 members would be nominated by the Board chairman.

Meanwhile, the three-day 21st general session of AIMPLB began at the Darul Uloom Nadwat -ul- Ulama here on Friday with Maulana Nadwi stating that the board would not brook any interference in the madarsas. Inaugurating the session, the AIMPLB chairman rejected the proposed Central Madarsa Board and said that since religious education was imparted in the madarsas any interference in their functioning was unacceptable.

He said the board was committed to protecting the shariat laws. The Maulana appealed to the Muslims to stay away from social evils like female foeticide, dowry and lavish weddings. These, incidentally, formed the core of the "islah-e-ma'ashra" (reform of society) programme of the law board. He laid emphasis on the protection of women's rights.