State to appoint inquiry officer to look into deals of tainted Wakf CEO

Aug 05 2013, 03:12 IST
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SummaryThe state has cleared the appointment of K B Bhoge, former revenue commissioner of the Aurangabad division, as the inquiry officer

The state government has decided to appoint an inquiry officer to look into all the decisions that were taken by Wakf Board CEO N D Pathan, who was caught by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) while allegedly taking a bribe. The state has cleared the appointment of K B Bhoge, former revenue commissioner of the Aurangabad division, as the inquiry officer.

All decisions taken by the Wakf Board CEO from May 2011, when he was appointed, till July 2013, when he was arrested, will be reviewed by the inquiry officer. If any of the decisions is found to have been made against the Wakf rules, the inquiry officer has been asked to submit a report stating the same, said an official from the minority welfare department. Pathan was arrested in July for demanding and accepting Rs 30,000 as an installment of the total bribe amount from a man who wanted the lease of a land allotted to him by the board to be extended from one to three years. Two previous CEOs of the board had to be transferred after allegations of corruption cropped up against them.

The term Wakf represents property bequeathed by individuals to be used for the benefit of the Muslim community.

There is supposed to be 4 lakh acres of Wakf property in the country, with Maharashtra having close to 38,000 hectares. The entire land is managed by the respective state Wakf boards, which are, in turn, monitored by the Central Wakf Council. There have been rising complaints that the management of Wakf land is plagued by corruption.

The state government is also facing a severe crisis in finding a state government employee to head the board. As per the existing rules of the board, only a Muslim officer of the rank of deputy secretary or additional collector can be appointed as the CEO of the board.

At present, there is hardly any Muslim officer of the said rank in the state bureaucracy and those who are available are unwilling to take up the position of the board CEO who is required to be based in Aurangabad.

In Mantralaya, there are four Muslim officials of the deputy secretary level. In the state, there are less than 20 officials of the additional collector rank. Many of them are about to retire while others are not too keen to take up the post of Wakf Board CEO. The state plans to appoint a serving judge

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