Telangana HC Finds Wakf Board CEO Complicit In Encroachment Of Muslim Graveyards, Orders His Removal

Telangana HC Finds Wakf Board CEO Complicit In Encroachment Of Muslim Graveyards, Orders His RemovalA graveyard - representative image (Wikimedia Commons)

The Telangana High Court has asked the State government to dismiss the Telangana Wakf Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) immediately as he was not aware of the provisions of the Indian Criminal Code Procedure (CrPC) and was complicit in the case of encroachment of wakf properties.

The order by a bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy came when the wakf board CEO Mohammed Khasim said he was not aware of the provisions of the CrPC, the Times of India reported.

Adding to Khasim woes, the judges said that the CEO was hand-in-glove with the encroachment of the Wakf's properties in the State, particularly Muslim graveyards, and he should go home.

Khasim told the bench that he had not read the CrPC when it asked him if he had read the CrPC and why he had not approached senior police officials with regard to protecting the wakf properties.

The High Court was hearing three petitions demanding that graveyards for Muslims be protected from encroachments.

A few months ago, media reports said that real estate agents have illegally encroached the graveyards, owned by the wakf, to the tune of Rs one lakh crore in Telangana.

The CEO was confronted by the High Court with several questions on the encroachments but his standard reply was that the police did register cases.

The judges found that over 85 such graveyards in Hyderabad had been encroached and only five cases had been registered.

The judges said if the station house officer refused to register a case, the CEO should have approached the superintendent of police, to which Khasim said he had not read the CrPC.

This resulted in the bench expressing surprise and ordering his removal.