Concerns raised over delayed elections to Waqf Board

The term of Telangana State Waqf Board, which comprises nominated and elected members, is scheduled to come to an end in February. With no official notification issued announcing elections this far, some board members and those in the know, have raised concerns over this, pointing out that in order to maintain the board’s autonomy, the State government should set wheels in motion for elections.

The Wakf Act of 1995 states that up to two members should be elected from the electoral colleges comprising mutawallis (managers) of waqf institutions which have an annual income of at least ₹1 lakh, Muslim members of the State Bar Council, Muslim members of State Legislature and Muslim members of Parliament.

Sources opined that the election process was time-consuming, and likely to take a minimum of two months to complete. Successive governments, they alleged, had dragged their feet in connection with calling for elections.

“If you see, after the term of the board in united Andhra Pradesh came to an end in 2013, there were special officers or competent authority who headed the board till a new board was elected much after the formation of Telangana. It was only after directions were sought from the High Court that the elections were held. The TSWB is an autonomous body and special officers, even as they may have good intentions, do not auger well for this autonomous character of the board,” said a source.

Speaking to The Hindu on the issue, TSWB board member Syed Akbar Nizamuddin Hussaini said that with the body’s five-year term scheduled to come to an end in February, it is mandatory that the State government hold elections before February 24.

Touching upon the appointments of special officers in the past, he said, “According to the Waqf Act, it is only in a scenario that the board is superseded that a special officer can be appointed. Therefore, it is our demand that elections, which is a time-taking process, be held as soon as possible. Preparations for elections should not be delayed.”

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:14:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/concerns-raised-over-delayed-elections-to-waqf-board/article37779194.ece

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