इंडियन आवाज़     07 Dec 2023 06:01:35      انڈین آواز

No Waqf law without ‘community’

that the community would not accept the Bill in the present form.

They also threatened to launch a mass movement if the government did not abandon the bill and bring a new one which addresses community concern.

They said that the word ‘community’ has not been defined anywhere in the present Bill or the existing Waqf Act of 1995 that leaves scope for the judiciary to dilute the meanings of the word ‘community’.

They asked all the community organizations to come together to pressurize the government not to go ahead with the bill present form. The Bill is currently being studied by the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill.

President of the Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) and former bureaucrat Dr Zafar Mahmood said that that if the bill was passed in the present form it would harm Wakf properties immensely in the country.

Highlighting the glaring loopholes and major threats to Waqfs in the proposed bill, he pointed out that major recommendations by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Waqf and the Sachar Committee regarding the protection and preservation of Waqfs spreading in the length and breath of the country were totally overlooked by those drafted the bill.

“After extensively studying the proposed Wakf Bill, ZFI feels there is a need for significant review to protect India’s Rs. 120 billion (i.e. US$ 26 billion) valued Wakf Lands,”  he said adding that numerous Joint Parliamentary Committee recommendations have been ignored without any mention by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Releasing the booklet, titled as “Waqf (Amendment) Bill 2010: Vital Concerns of Muslim Community”, he said that in the parliamentary democracy the JPC has its own significant and place in making the law but it was ignored completely.

Making point by point observations, Dr Mahmood said the word ‘community’ has not been defined anywhere in the proposed Bill or the existing Waqf Act of 1995 that leaves scope for the judiciary to dilute the meanings of the word ‘community’.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Waqfs recommended that the CEO should be at least of the rank of Director in the state government, however, it was over-ruled even the JPC and doubly lowered the level of CEO down to Under Secretary in the state government.

Replying to a question, he said the Foundation has extended invitation to more 60 members of parliament and except one none turned to the conference. He said Foundation would send the booklet to all MPs and those concerned with Waqf affairs.

Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind (M) leader and MP Maulana Mahmood Madni said the proposed bill so harmful to interest of Waqf that it could not be accepted at any cost in the present form. There is a need of launching a mass movement for forcing the government to abandon the bill and bring a new one, he added.

Navaid Hamid, Secretary, Movement for Empowerment of Muslims, says the moot question is that why JPC members were silent on this bill as their recommendations were disdainfully rejected by the Minority Affairs Ministry, it betrays their lack of sincerity towards the Muslim community’s affairs.

The other day Jamiat Ulema Hind (A) also held a conference demanding the revision of the bill. It sai that there was need to convince to the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson that they must prevail upon the Ministry of Minority Affairs to ensure necessary amendments in the Bill before it is passed by the Rajya Sabha.

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