Zirakpur, Pb – Today we will talk about Waqf Board, what is Waqf Board and why and how did it start in independent India?

Let us tell you that after Railways and Army, Waqf Board has become the third largest landowner in independent India. This was possible because according to a report, Waqf has 8.51 lakh properties registered across the country and in this report it has also been revealed that Waqf has the maximum land in Bengal – 80480.

What is Waqf Board?

What is Waqf Board? Actually, Waqf Board is the institution which maintains the property donated in the name of Allah. For example, when a person who believes in the religion of Islam gives any of his movable or immovable property as Zakat, then that property is called ‘Waqf’. After Zakat is paid, no one has ownership rights on this property.Since Waqf, it is considered the property of Allah and its care is given to the ‘Waqf Board’. This institution handles all the legal work related to that property like selling, buying, renting etc. One more thing worth noting here is that once a person gives this Waqf, then after that he can never take that property back.After that, it is the wish of the Waqf Board to use it as per its wish.

How did ‘Waqf’ start in independent India?

Since the coming into existence of Waqf Board, many types of questions keep arising, one of the big questions is that how did Waqf Board come into existence after the abolition of princely states in independent India, and what was the need to bring it into existence.
The answer to this question is that after independence, the Nehru government brought the Waqf Act 1954 in India. Some amendments were made in the Act in the year 1995. After these amendments, the formation of Waqf Boards was allowed in every state and union territories and some such changes took place which are often disputed till today.

Who oversees the Waqf Boards?

As far as the maintenance of the property of the Waqf Board is concerned, this work is done by the Central Waqf Council of India, which is a statutory body, which looks after the Waqf Board. The Central Waqf Council of India was established in 1964 by the Government of India under the Waqf Act of 1954. This central body oversees the work under the various State Waqf Boards established under the provisions of Section 9(1) of the Waqf Act, 1954.

How many Waqf boards across India?

According to a report, there is one Central Waqf Council and 32 State Boards in India. Every state has separate Waqf Board and the Union Minister for Minority Welfare is the ex-officio Chairman of the Central Waqf Council.

Who can join the Waqf Board?

Now the question arises that who can be the members of the Waqf Board, then let us tell you that it is necessary for all the members of the Waqf Board to be from the religion of Islam, every person who becomes a member of the Waqf Board should be from the Muslim community because in this the top But all Muslims are officers.

If we talk about its members, it would include a Chairman, one or two nominees from the State Government, Muslim MLA, Muslim MP, Muslim Lawyer, Muslim IAS, Islamic Scholar, Town Planner and apart from these, there would also be a Mutawalli at the local level Is.

How many properties does Waqf Board own?

Some time ago a report had come out according to which at present the Waqf Board is becoming the third largest landlord in the country after Railways and Army. According to the Minority Ministry, there are 8,65,646 properties registered with the Waqf Board across the country. Of these, more than 80 thousand properties are with Waqf in Bengal only. After this, Waqf Board has 70,994 properties in Punjab, 65,945 in Tamil Nadu and 61,195 in Karnataka. This institute also has a large number of properties in other states of the country.

Question on legal validity of Waqf board, petition dismissed

Due to the way the Waqf Board has become the third largest landowner in the country, a lot of questions were raised recently on the huge number of properties added to the Waqf Board in the name of Waqf. If we talk about Uttar Pradesh, the state government there has also given orders for investigation on the properties of Waqf Board.

Apart from this, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court last year to declare the Waqf Board unconstitutional. However, the court rejected the petition saying that the petitioners were not personally affected in this case.

Ashwini Upadhyay, who filed this petition, raised questions on its constitutional validity and said, “There is not even a single word in the name of Waqf in the Indian Constitution. The then government made the Waqf Act in 1995 and it was made only for Muslims. He asked that when there was no such word in the Constitution itself, then how was this Waqf Act enacted.
He said that the Waqf Board consists of a Muslim MLA, MP, lawyer, IAS, scholar and town planner and a mutawalli. But its entire expenditure is borne by public taxes. He raised the question that when the government does not take money from mosques and tombs and spends the money on Waqf in the salaries of its members, then is this not a violation of Article 27?
While presenting his views, Ashwini Upadhyay also said that through the Waqf Board 1995, unlimited powers were given to the Waqf Board. They have been given the right that all cases related to their religious properties will go to the tribunal court.
He raised the question that there are not so many tribunal courts in the country, hence if Waqf goes and stakes claim on someone’s property, then people have to wander from door to door, only then the hearing takes place whereas the cases of other religions are heard comfortably in the civil court.

Meaning of Waqf in a democratic country

The Supreme Court may have rejected the petition of lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay but the questions raised by him were not wrong. After all, to what extent is it appropriate to create such boards and laws on religious basis in a democratic country like India? Recently this news also came out that the Waqf Board has declared its rights over an entire village even though people have been living on it for years and there is also a temple on this land.

Now if this is not called discrimination, then what can be said that the cases related to property of any other religion are heard by the Civil Court whereas if there is a dispute regarding any Waqf property then it is heard only in the Tribunal Court.
That is, if Waqf ever says that the land of a non-Islamic person also belongs to him, then that person has to go to the tribunal court and complain and the number of these courts in the country is only 14. Whereas if the same dispute is related to a person of any other religion, then the matter is easily heard in the civil court.

Waqf Board does not exist even in Muslim countries

Another thing that is very surprising about the Waqf Board is that the Waqf Board, which has become the third largest landowner in independent India, does not have the concept of that Waqf Board even in Islamic countries. Be it Turkey, Libya, Syria or Iraq, Waqf Board does not exist anywhere in these Muslim countries. But due to Muslim appeasement in India, today the situation is such that he is being described as the third largest landlord in the country. He has immense wealth.

Waqf is property created by Waqf for religious, charitable or sacred purposes and is permanent. It is binding in nature and there is a law supporting its enforcement. If a person feels that his rights have been violated then he can approach the court for justice.


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