Millennium Post

Khurshid snubs Muslim law board

Khurshid snubs Muslim law board
After the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) attacked the law and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid, and announced to launch a nationwide campaign against the Centre, the minister has hit back at them saying their demands are unclear. The board had earlier slammed the attitude of the ministry for being ‘uncooperative’ and ‘irrational’ in the matter of the Waqf, regarding which they would launch a campaign after the month of Ramzaan.

Explaining his stance on this issue, Khurshid told Millennium Post, ’I don’t understand what their issues really are. If they are going to carry on with a refrain then there is nothing that I can do. The Sachar Committee report stated that there should certain points from it to be highlighted and out of these points presumably they (AIMPLB) are not talking about the committee’s report but the chapter it has on waqf. If it is this chapter then there are  a few points which can be addressed. Out of these too, some points have already been covered.’

The main demand for the AIMPLB is to get the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 to be extended for summary eviction of illegal occupants from the properties owned by Waqf boards across the country to be passed. Khurshid does not agree with this demand and goes on to say, ‘It is simple that instead of them saying we will hold an agitation they should instead state their exact points of concern. Their main issue is based on why Waqf properties are not being declared as public premises under the Public Premises Act. This act pertains to government properties. The issue is not about public properties but government held properties like universities, government institutions etc. So if we make waqf a part of public premises then can we then deny the property belonging to
gurdwaras
, churches, mandirs to other institutions to be declared in the same manner.’

Elucidating further on this issue, the minister says, ‘Can we then say that will be not be a public property. If all this becomes public property then what will be the difference in public property and private property. What we have done instead is told all states is to exempt waqf property from Rent Control Act. While most states have done it and this act is a state legislation. If the board thinks the reply is inadequate then they should voice their concerns than hold and agitation.’

Addressing the board’s concerns, Khurshid says, ‘Another issue which they had raised was that Muslims are not being represented in the waqf council. I want to ask them then who is being represented in this council? There might be some minor issues like where there is no Muslim lawyer in the executive. If they say someone who has this knowledge and it should only be a Muslim then the correction can be made. I don’t know what is this agitation about?’

Khurshid says he is open to a discussion with the board but their demands or issues seemed unclear.
Tania Ameer

Tania Ameer

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