Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar writes letter to Maha Chief Minister
Mumbai: The details regarding the functioning of government departments and various quasi-government organizations that receive funds from the government are published on the internet. This is a bid to bring about transparency in their functioning. Various government departments and corporations have separate websites for this; however, the work of the Waqf Authority, which owns more than 77 thousand acres of land, does not reach the citizens who are the actual masters in democracy. Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, National President of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, has drawn the government’s attention to this serious matter. He has written a letter to the Minority Development Ministry (currently held by the Maha CM) on January 6 and has demanded that the activities of the Waqf Authority be published on a website.
In this letter, Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar has said that,
1. Indian Judiciary has also started public broadcasting of proceedings. It is now possible to ascertain which case will come up for hearing in which court and at what time, from anywhere in the world. The duration of the hearing is public. Even the Sessions Courts, Magistrates of First Class have their journals available on the website. Orders are regularly published on the website. Dates of cases, how many cases are pending before which judge, the stage they are at, how long a judge will be on leave is a small sampling of the information that is available on the websites.
2. But is the Waqf Authority still functioning in the same way as it was 50 years ago? Or is it being continued as such? Who holds the post of judge, president or member etc. of this authority? How do they pass judgements? When is which case coming up for hearing? Such information is not available anywhere. Shouldn’t this information be kept secretive? To what avail?
3. ‘Kowledge is Power’. And todays world is all about the information age. So our question is why are you Muslims or non-Muslims being deprived of this knowledge?
4. We are sure that you will not answer that the ‘Wakf Board or Government cannot disseminate information like the courts because they do not have money’. The Maharashtra government is not that poor.
Temple funds are treated as piggybanks, what about Waqf Boards?
The government has a habit of giving large ‘donations’ to many places like hospitals and schools from temple funds. Former Justice Tipnis Committee Report on Siddhivinayak Temple, clarifications sought by Law and Justice Department from time to time were regarding temples; but what about Waqf Board? Shirdi Temple’s donations of Rs 500 crore for the canals of Nilwande Dam, government-run temples donating crores of rupees to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund are some examples. Why does the government not apply this habit to the Waqf Board? Why do you discriminate? The Vitthal-Rukmini Temple at Pandharpur owns 1,200 acres of land; So if that temple is considered rich, then what should be said about the Waqf Board which has 77 thousand acres of land? Why are you hiding the details of this land from the society?
Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar’s demands
1. The waqf board must be adding something of value to their land every year. Is it being properly accounted for? In order to get this information to the public, immediate steps should be taken to include the ‘Maharashtra Wakf Authority’ in the official websites of courts ‘e-courts.gov.in’ or ‘https://courts.mah.nic.in’.
2. Initiate administrative action against the concerned officials for not doing this process till now.
3. Non-availability of information is causing great inconvenience to the parties appearing before the Wakf Authority, their advocates and also the society. With this in mind, initiate action against all those accountable who are keeping this information from the public.
4. It may take another 10 years or so to make all the information available on the website. So, until that happens, a separate website and an ‘Android application’ should be developed to convey this information to the people.
Source : Sanatan Prabhat