New Delhi, Feb 12 IANS | 8 months ago

An activist Wednesday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging him to take necessary steps to ensure meaningful provisions of the Waqf Act and removal of property encroachments.

Crediting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for taking "bold steps to achieve targets beneficial to the public at large", Right to Information (RTI) activist Saleem Baig urged the city government to issue directions to the Delhi Waqf Board to ensure completion of computerisation and streamlining of Waqf records, and also track pending legal cases.

Baig said hundreds of properties with the Delhi Waqf Board are under litigation and have been encroached upon by unscrupulous people with active connivance of the Waqf Board members for their vested interests.

"The central government tried to save the properties by making amendments in the Waqf Act, 1995, but all efforts proved futile because the provisions enshrined in Section 52-A of the act provide that no court shall take cognizance of any offence under this section except on complaints made by the board or any other officer duly authorised by the state government," Baig said.

He added that no officer is authorised by the state government on this regard and the Delhi Waqf Board is the only authority on whose complaint a court can take legal action.

"Under the provisions of Section 52-A (3), an officer or officers may be appointed to inspect the Waqf properties, especially under encroachment, who may file complaint against people who are in illegal occupation of the property and those in charge of that property," Baig said.

Waqf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognised by Muslim Personal Law.

Baig, who also filed an RTI inquiry with the Supreme Court praying for directions to ensure the completion of computerisation of Waqf properties records in 2012, said a time frame be fixed for the completion of the task.

(Posted on 12-02-2014)

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