Why not computerise records, SC asks Wakf boards

New Delhi, Sep 20 : The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central government, Wakf boards in the states and union territories and the National Informatics Centre on a PIL for completing computerisation of records of Wakf Board properties across the country in line with the government's order.

Issuing the notice, a bench of Chief Justice P.Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh told the petitioner's counsel Shad Anwar: "You have taken the right cause."

NGO Manav Vikas Sewa Samiti, which moved the PIL (public interest litigation), also sought that it should be supplied with the information by various Wakf boards and authorities under the Right to Information Act on the implementation of the government's decision.

The NGO has sought the compliance of the Dec 18, 2012, order of the minorities affairs ministry directing the Wakf boards to take necessary steps to ensure the completion of the computerisation of their records.

The ministry, the NGO Manav Vikas Sewa Samiti said, had asked all Wakf boards to computerise all their documents and details of properties attached to them but since no time frame was given by the ministry, the work was not carried out even though the central government made funds available for the project.

As a matter of fact, the PIL said, the Wakf properties were spread all over the country but there was lack of basic survey to record these properties.

"There is hardly any development of Waqf properties and a very substantial income that the Waqf properties could have generated for the welfare schemes of the community is lost because of non-development and large-scale encroachment of Wakf properties," the PIL said.

The government, the PIL said, undertook the scheme to streamline the records of state Wakf boards just to ascertain as to how many Wakf properties were under encroachment so that these could be recovered by taking legal remedies.

Seeking the intervention of the apex court, the PIL contended that state wakf boards have property worth trillions of rupees and these could be "used for the welfare of the poor and down trodden and to remove the vagrancy of the nation up to some extent..."

The notice is returnable in four weeks.

--IANS (Posted on 20-09-2013)

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