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UP: State wants CBI to investigate Azam Khan’s Wakf property scam

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh govt. has recommended a CBI investigation of former SP Minister Azam Khan and other officials of Shia, as well as Sunni Wakf boards for misusing the Wakf property worth crores. Minority Affairs and Waqf Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary has revealed the information.

“There are serious allegations of corruption and misuse of office against chairpersons of both boards as well as the former cabinet minister for Waqf. The CWC had probed these charges and recommended removal of the chairpersons and further investigation,” Chaudhary told The Indian Express.

“I have written to the chief minister for an expulsion of both chairpersons and further investigation against them as well as the former minister, as recommended. I am sure both (chairpersons) would be removed,” he added.

Lawyer and CWC member, Syed Ejaz Abbas after visiting Rampur and other parts of the state had prepared the two reports which recommended the measures to the government. A report was sent to UP Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar on April 8 recommended probe into Shia Wakf Board by CBI and Enforcement Directorate under as per Section 173 of CrPC.

“There are circumstances and multiple grounds to invoke the jurisdiction of section 99 of Waqf Act 1995 to dissolve the Shia Central Waqf Board and appoint administrator till the commencement of the fresh board.” Abbas had made the same recommendations for Sunni Waqf Board also.

Abbas told the media: “I was surprised during my visit that hardly any rules were being followed across the state with regard to the Waqf land. I camped in UP for 15 days but considering the extent of anomalies, I recommended a CBI probe. In many cases, I have also recommended lodging FIRs as there were instances where land at prime locations worth crores was being given for Re 1 rent per annum. In some cases, instead of Rs 25,000 rent for commercial land, merely Rs 5,000 was being charged despite the fact that there is provision to auction in accordance with the market rates.”

He mentioned in the report that the construction of Rampur Public School and Maulana Jauhar Private University is taking place after flattening the entire Sunni Waqf property which is a violation of section 51 (2) and 56 of Waqf Act 1995 and section 3 of Waqf Property Lease Rules 2014, which states that they have no right to lease orphanage’s property to another trust.

The report further says that: “It’s top regulating body i.e UP Sunni Waqf board has failed to help even a single needy out of 3 crores 90 lakh Sunni Muslims in the last 12 years. It failed to frame rules to help widows, divorcees or other such circumstantial destitute humans… it has no proper framework to uplift deteriorating educational level of Sunni Muslims.”

Abbas in the report said that he found grave misuse of the Wakf property by Azam Khan as well as his kins and his main officials.