JK Wakf Board under scanner

Govt Orders Special Audit; Panel To Look Into Financial, Administrative Mess


Srinagar, Nov 8: Facing widespread criticism for irregularities and mismanagement in the J&K Muslim Wakf Board, the State Government has constituted a three-member committee to conduct a special administrative and financial audit of the Board that looks after Muslim shrines and properties in Kashmir. The panel has been directed to submit the report to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who happens to be chairman of the Board, within three months  after going through administrative and financial matters of the institution.
The Chief Minister‘s Office vide order No. 233– CMS of 2012 dated 25-10-2012  has constituted the three member probe panel—comprising Altaf Hussain, former Special Secretary Tourism Department; Muhammad Shaban Najar, former Chief Engineer/ Managing Director; and Sheikh Abdur Rashid, retired Financial Advisor/Chief Accounts Officer—to look into affairs of the Board, which has been under fire for alleged corruption, nepotism and favoritism since its establishment.
According to the order, the vice-chairman of the Board has been directed to facilitate the conduct of the audit. “The vice-chairman, J&K Board for Specified Wakfs and specified Wakf properties shall provide all logistical assistance to the Committee including access to record and facilitate the field visits,” the order reads. “The Committee shall complete the Administrative and Financial Audit of the J&K Board for Muslim Specified Wakfs and Specified Wakf properties within a period of three months and submit the report to the Hon’ble Chief Minister.”
Following the order, Wakf Board has directed all its officers to render full cooperation to the probe panel. “The team has already taken up the assignment. It is hereby ordered that all officers of the Wakf Board will ensure that full cooperation is extended to the team in whatever information/ records are asked for by the team [sic],” the circular No. MWB/ Admn/ 2644- 58 dated 7-11- 2012.
Sources told Greater Kashmir that although Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while chairing a meeting of Board of Directors of Waqf Board on May 15, 2012 had said that a special audit of Wakf Board would be conducted, there was no follow-up action on the assurance. The audit move, according to the sources, has been taken this time in view of the media reports on widespread irregularities in the Board.
Besides the two basic aspects (administrative and financial), the panel has been entrusted to go through twenty other issues related to the functioning of the Board.
The other terms of reference of the panel are: Identification of Wakf properties which have been unauthorisedly sublet, measures to be taken by Wakf Board to prevent subletting in future and restoration of these properties; Identification of the land/properties which have not been shown under the ownership of the Wakf  Board in the revenue records; Identification of fictitious sale of Wakf land/ properties and allotment of land / properties; Reasons for not fixing the revised rent as per market rates of the property leased to the tenants by the Wakf Board; Reasons for delay in completing the construction of Khanqah at Charar-i-Sharief by JKPCC and cost escalation of the project from Rs 5 crore to Rs 12 crore.
Besides, the panel has been directed to look into missing office records, insertion, tampering of allotment orders regarding lease of Wakf property and fixing of the responsibility for these irregularities.

Terms of Reference

* Identification of Wakf properties sublet in unauthorized manner

* Measures to be taken to prevent subletting in future,restoration of properties

* Identification of land/properties not shown under Wakf ownership
in revenue records

* Identification of fictitious sale of Wakf land/properties and allotment of land/properties

* Reasons for delay in completion of Khanqah at Charar-i-Sharief by JKPCC

Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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