Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Waqf Board on Monday nominated former chief information commissioner of the state G R Sufi as its vice-chairman, more than five months after the position fell vacant.
In June, days after the collapse of the PDP-BJP government, vice-chairman of the Board resigned following an established tradition.
“Chairman, Board of Directors for the Muslim Specified Waqfs and Specified Waqf Properties, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai today (Monday) nominated G R Sufi, ex-chief information commissioner, J&K as vice-chairman of the Board,” an order by the chairman of the Board said, adding the nomination will stay until formal elections for it are held.
It also nominated Gous-ul-NisaJeelani, former principal district and sessions judge, as a member of the Board.
After the fall of the government in June, heads of various departments and institutions who were appointed by the ruling alliance resigned from their positions, adhering to a well-established convention.
The Governor, who had assumed power as head of the state administration made all the political appointees of the previous government to resign.
Nizam-ud-din Bhat, a senior leader of the PDP resigned as VC of the Board in July soon after the fall of the coalition government, but his resignation was not accepted because the law governing it was silent about the functioning of the institution in times of Governor’s rule.
However, in September, the new Governor amended the Waqf laws, paving way for the constitutional head of the state to take control in times of emergency.
The amendment allows the Governor appoint any ‘eminent Muslim’ including one of his advisors as chairman of the Waqf Board, in case he is not a Muslim himself.
Consequently, after months KhurshidGanai was recently appointed as chairman with the authority to accept Bhat’s resignation.
As per the Jammu and Kashmir Specified Waqf Act, “A vice-chairman 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 include utilising endowment funds for the upliftment and empowerment of the Muslims in the state, and to sanction relief to the indigent and destitute.”
The Act further states that, “the VC can sanction ex-gratia payments to any person connected with the working of the Board including its employees in case of injury inflicted during performance of duty up to Rs 5000 in each case subject to overall limit of Rs 1 lakh in a year, allotment on temporary license of any property of the board for a period not exceeding 11 months.”
In absence of a vice-chairman, the functioning of the board responsible for the upkeep of the Waqf properties and shrines in the state was getting hampered.