Telangana Wakf Board and its CEO remain on collision course; Govt is silent spectator

Hyderabad: The tug-of-war between the Telangana State Wakf Board and its Chief Executive Officer continues unabated. In this scenario the government appears to be committing a crime by not intervening and resolving the festering problem.

The Board, which is a legitimate body, is working on the sly because it has no clear conscience. It quietly convened a meeting on Friday with the sole agenda of sending two names of candidates of its choice for the post of CEO, in line with a High Court order. The Board then sent these names to the Government of Telangana, which would then take a call.

While the board members for reasons known to them remained tightlipped about the choice of officers, sources said that both have served as CEOs during the terms of previously elected boards. One of the Board’s nominees would replace the current CEO, Shahnawaz Qasim. Now, it is learnt, the government has conveyed to the Board that further communications should be made via proper channels – in this case, through the CEO’s office.

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In the recent past, Board Chairman Mohammed Masiullah Khan alleged that Qasim was not giving enough time to the activities of the Board, which became a bone of contention. Other Board members have agreed with one another on this issue, for the most part.

On the other hand, it is alleged that the CEO being an officer with a reputation for fairness would not like to become party to the decisions which he deems to not be in line with the law.

Sources said that Friday’s Board meeting went on in the absence of the CEO. According to the Wakf Rules, 2000, the CEO has the power to convene board meetings. Rule 7 (3) states: “The meeting of the Board shall be convened by the Chief Executive Officer and Ex-Officio Member of the Board with the approval of the Chairperson.”

However, the Board continues to assert its autonomy and points to a resolution they passed in October to repatriate Qasim to his parent department. The move had attracted considerable consternation. The Board has also highlighted that according to the Wakf Act, the CEO should be under their administrative control and must not exceed the brief.

“When the Board took the decision to repatriate the CEO, it would be improper to tell him to convene the Board meeting,” a Board official said.

On the flip side, activists said that despite the repatriation resolution, the CEO is likely to remain at the post till a government order transferring him from there is issued.

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