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LG dissolves Waqf Board, refers probe into graft charges to CBI

In a step that could further escalate tension between Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) dispensation, the LG on Friday declared the reconstitution of the Delhi Waqf Board and appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), void ab initio. 

Jung has also referred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

This is the second major decision taken by the LG, after annulling the appointment of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairperson Krishan Saini.

“In view of the deliberate and persistent acts of illegality, violation of rules, allegations of corruption, possibility of malafide, etc, the whole matter related to the Delhi Waqf Board is referred to the CBI for further investigation,” said a press statement issued by the LG office. “The Delhi government’s notification to supersede and reconstitute the Wakf Board in 2015 and the appointment of Mehboob Alam as its CEO on April 28, 2016, are declared illegal and void ab initio, for not having obtained the approval of the competent authority and are revoked immediately,” added the statement.  

The LG has also ordered the board being superseded under Section 99 of the Delhi Wakf Board Act. 

“Since, the term of the Delhi Wakf Board, constituted in 2011, was to expire in December 2016 and five out of seven members have already resigned, no purpose is served in reviving the board,” said Jung, justifying his order to supersede. 

In the same order, he has directed the Delhi Revenue Secretary to exercise all powers and duties of the board till the constitution of the new board. 

SM Ali, Special Secretary, Department of Environment and Forests, has been given the additional charge of the boards’ CEO, till further orders, the LG said. “Secretary, Department of Revenue, has been asked to initiate steps for the constitution of the board,” stated the order issued by LG office. 

The Delhi government Divisional Commissioner  has been asked to constitute a committee to review the legality and propriety of all decision and actions taken by the Delhi Waqf Board after its constitution in March 2016 and put up a report within a month.
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