New Delhi: Former Delhi Waqf Board chairman Amanatullah Khan on Wednesday said he would have no right to remain on the board if he was proved to be dishonest in the special audit looking into allegations of irregularities during his previous tenure.
Khan, AAP MLA from Okhla, was elected a member of the Waqf Board last month and is expected to return as chairman of the panel for the third time in a row.
A meeting of the board members has been deferred till November 19, after the Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government how it can allow Khan to be appointed as chairperson of the Waqf Board when a special audit has been initiated to look into allegations of irregularities against him.
Meanwhile, employees of the board have written a letter appealing to the chief minister, revenue minister and divisional commissioner of the Delhi government, citing their problems including those encountered in the past five months.
“The work at the Delhi Waqf Board is badly affected due to the absence of a chairman. Even routine expenses are hard to arrange and a notice has been received from a discom for power supply disconnection due to pending bill payment,” said one of the employees.
Last month the special audit began to look into alleged irregularities committed during Khan’s regime from March 2016 to March 2020, they said.
“The Delhi government’s decision to audit Delhi Waqf Board’s works is appreciable. The AAP government was founded only on honesty, I would have no right to remain in the Waqf Board if the audit report proves that I acted dishonestly while being in the Waqf Board,” Khan tweeted on Wednesday.
Khan previously served as chairman of the board for around six months in 2016 before resigning in May, and again from September 2018 to March 2020.
A four-member team is currently auditing the records at Delhi Waqf Board office, a senior officer said, adding that it will submit its report to the Delhi government.
However, the board which is running without a chairman since February is facing several problems, including non payment of salaries of employees, honorarium of nearly 300 imams and muzzains of mosques, and payment of around 1,300 pensioners, including widows and elderly.
“Permanent employees have not received salaries since May while contractual ones have not been paid after January. Besides this, it has become difficult to arrange stationary, dispatch letters and papers due to breakdown of the system,” complained the employees.
In their letter to the Chief Minister, the employees have requested an urgent meeting of the board to resolve the issues of salaries, honorarium and pensions payment.
As per Section 17(2) of Waqf Act 1995, the chairperson or in his absence, any member chosen from among the members, will preside at a meeting of the board, they wrote in the letter.
Delhi Waqf Board has seven members one of which is elected as chairman of the panel.