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Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

M.A. Siddique to perform duties of the board

As elected members in Tamil Nadu Waqf Board are not more than the nominated members, the Governor has superseded the Tamil Nadu Waqf Board for six months. The Governor has appointed M.A. Siddique as special officer to exercise and perform all the powers and duties as long as the board remains superseded.

As per sub-section (4) of section 14 of the Waqf Act, 1995, the Tamil Nadu Waqf Board would be unable to perform if the elected members were not more than the nominated members. The special officer, at present a Principal Secretary to Government (Expenditure), Finance Department, would perform all the powers and duties under the provisions of the Waqf Act, 1995, according to a notification issued by the State government.

While the board’s chairperson A. Anwhar Raajhaa ceased to be a Member of Parliament, two senior Muslim advocates, who were earlier considered elected members, would have to be considered nominated members, as per the legal advice received by the State government. Although there were two Muslim MPs from the State, even their appointment would still make it six members, whereas the rule demands elected members should be more than nominated members.

Legal opinion

Following show-cause notices sent to all 10 members of the Board as per the rule, only four members replied seeking to drop the superseding process and urged that senior advocates be considered elected members. “The government has received legal opinion that the senior advocates can be considered as nominated members. In view of the above, the elected members are less than the nominated members and the board is unable to perform its functions..,” the notification stated. The 10 members on the board were: A. Anwhar Raajhaa, K.A.M. Muhammed Abubacker, K.S. Masthan, A. Sirajudeen, M. Ajmal Khan, A. Tamilmahan Hussain, Amatul Aatifa, A.S. Fathima Muzaffer, Haja K. Majeed and Syed Ali Akbar. Mr. Siddique was a government nominee.

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