Days after the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government of Jammu and Kashmir in June this year, heads of the Women Commission and Waqf Board felt obliged, as per the convention, to resign from their jobs. Since both of them and a few dozen others were given the task to look after different bodies by the ruling alliance, the governor who had assumed the power in the state went about the job of getting rid of all such people whom the previous government had installed in senior positions.
Now more than two months afterwards both the bodies are without an in charge person to carry out day-to-day functions of the office. The State Commission for women that was established in 1999 to protect women's right has no leader since Nayeema Mehjoor, who was the chairperson of the board, stepped down.
This is not the first time that the commission has remained without a head. In the past, too, it was without a chairperson for seven years till 2010 and many feel it hampers the working of the commission.
The functioning of the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Waqf Boards, the second largest asset rich organization after the state government, also got affected after its vice chairman resigned from the job.
As per the Jammu and Kashmir Specified Waqf Act, "A chairman shall exercise general control and superintendence over the functioning of the board. He shall have the power to authorize implementation of proposals which otherwise requires approval of the board of directors, but implementation whereof cannot brook any delay without causing determent to the interest of the board."
And a vice-chairman, as per the act, shall be responsible for the overall functioning of the board and shall subject to overall guidance and supervision of the board. Some of the key functions of the vice-chairman are – utilize endowment funds for the upliftment and empowerment of the Muslims in the state, to sanction relief to the indigent and destitute.
But soon after the fall of the government the vice-Chairman, Nizam –ud-din Bhat, also tendered his resignation, but the resignation is yet to be accepted by the government. As per the law the governor has no jurisdiction in the Waqf affairs.
"The work of the board is definitely hampered because a VC takes policy decisions and manages the overall functioning of the board, and in absence the work suffers. The Waqf board is in mess, because this situation, where the state has gone under governor rule and the board is functioning without a VC, has never arisen," said an official of the Waqf Board.
He further said: "The government make amendments in the existing Waqf laws, as to what the board should do in case the state comes under governor rule and the board is headless. This is the need of the hour."