Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir HC upholds Wakf takeover of shrines

Khiram Dargah shrine in Bijbehara tehsil of Anantnag district in Kashmir. [File Photo]

Srinagar: The High Court has dismissed the plea challenging the order issued by the JK Wakf Board for taking over the management and allied properties of all the shrines in Jammu and Kashmir.

The board had issued an order last year whereby the control and management of all the shrines including the assets and properties of these shrines in the whole JK was taken over by the board.

These orders came to be challenged in the instant petition.

It is also provided in the order that any association or local auqaf in respect of such wakfs shall be void-ab-initio.

Earlier, in a bid to take over administrative control of all the notified shrines and Masjids, the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board constituted district-level committees asking them to prepare a list of all shrines, Jamia Masjids, Khankahs, and associated properties which are Waqf notified properties in the respective district.

An order said that the J&K Waqf Board has a large number of Notified Waqf properties that have not been administratively controlled to date, and were being managed privately by local committees.

“However, in view of receipt of a large number of complaints /representations by the Hon’ble Chairperson, J&K Wag Board, from the general public regarding mismanagement & irregularities, it has become imperative to directly administer all such important Shrines/ Jamia Masids/ Khankahs and other assets, that are already Waqf notified properties, to ensure transparency and accountability,” the order had mentioned.

Later, the chairperson Dr Darkshan Andrabi said that JK Waqf Board is going to start recruitment of degree holder Imam’s, Mubaligh’s, Muazin’s for valley’s Mosques and Shrines.

“JK Waqf Board is a religious institution which deals with Mosques and Shrines. We need Imam’s, Preachers and Muazin’s there to carry out religious duties. At several Mosques and Shrines we have no arrangement of people who lead congregational religious duties there. So in this regard J&K Waqf has decided to carry out a recruitment drive soon to fill the vacancies so that the shortcomings would be resolved,” Andrabi had said.

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