Suspecting a major scam involving 268 acres of land belonging to the Karnataka State Wakf Board, members of a self-styled committee to protect such properties, have demanded the removal of the board chief.
The inaction of Wakf Board over the assistant commissioner, Bangalore sub-division declaring as gomal land over 268 acres of notified wakf property in survey no. 55 at Bellahalli in Bangalore north taluk, and allotting a little over 122 acres in favour 50 unauthorized cultivators raised doubts about the bona fides of the board chairman R Abdul Reyaz Khan, MJ Ali of the Karnataka Wakfs Protection Joint Action Committee has said.
He has urged chief minister Siddaramaiah to remove Reyaz Khan as chairman of the Wakf Board for “taking unilateral decisions that are detrimental and pre-judicious to the interest of the Wakf institutions and its properties in the state”.
Speaking to dna, Ali said Abdul Reyaz Khan had been virtually dictating to the legal section of the Wakf Board and on many occasions taken unilateral decisions which were detrimental to the interest of the Wakf institutions and properties.
As for the Bellahalli land, “the Karnataka State Wakf Board has not initiated any action to take the possession of the notified Wakf land by filing possession suit in civil court but encouraged the vested interests to hold the possession of the properties for obvious reasons,’’ Ali said.
Quoting the record of proceedings in Supreme Court on November 5, 2012, Ali alleged that Raju Ramachandran, who represented Karnataka Wakf Board, submitted a false report claiming that he had received instructions from the state government not to disturb any person who is in possession of wakf land.
“Raju Ramachandran, learned senior counsel, after instructions from the State makes a statement that he is not willing to disturb any person who had been settled by any document issued by the State authorities under any law. Therefore, in view of the above, no private party should be issued notice rather names of respondent Nos. 8 to 22 be deleted from the array of respondents,’’ the Supreme Court order said.
However, a government order, dated September 23, 2013, stated that the department of minority welfare, on behalf of the Karnataka State Board of Wakfs or the State of Karnataka, had not authorised or issued any instructions to the counsel to make such a statement.
“If the revenue department has given such instructions to the learned counsel, a copy of the same and the affidavit filed in the honourable Supreme Court may please be provided to this office for taking appropriate action in this matter,’’ the government order said.
In a reply under RTI Act, Karnataka State Board of Auqaf, made it clear that state government had issued no such instructions to the Karnataka State Board of Wakfs, claiming which Raju Ramachandran made the statement in the Supreme Court. It also made it clear that it had no information on whether it has taken approval from the board meeting or not for filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court.