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UP Sunni Central Waqf Board elections: Allahabad HC quashes extension of tenure given to old board

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The Allahabad High Court quashed the order dated September 30, 2020 of the Additional Chief Secretary Minority Welfare and Waqf to extend the tenure of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.

The Court has appointed the principal secretary as administrator and ordered to hand over the charge by holding the election of the board by February 28. The Court said the cancellation of the order of September 30 will not affect decisions taken during the period.

This order has been given by the division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice S.S. Shamsheri on the petition of Wasim Uddin and another.

The petitioner said the election of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board should be held before the five-year term ends. The term ended on April 1, 2020. The tenure was extended for six months due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Even after this, the tenure is being extended without holding elections. The state government does not have the right to do so.

The Petitioner said that there are less than 600 voters in the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board. In such a situation, elections should be held following physical distancing norms.  

The High Court held the State Government did not have the jurisdiction to extend the tenure of the board. Such an emergency was not required, which extended the tenure was inevitable. At the same time, the government said that due to the coronavirus outbreak, an order has been ordered to extend the tenure under the Disaster Management Act. The Court did not accept this and directed the holding of elections.

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board tenure ended for the second time on September 30, 2020, which was given a six-month extension under the leadership of Zufar Farooqui. 

Also Read: Munawar Faruqui case: Activist asks MP HC Chief Justice to move case to another bench for justice, fairness

Earlier, the UP government gave a six-month extension from October 1. Sunni Waqf Board elections could not be held due to the coronavirus outbreak. The first term of the board under the leadership of Zufar Farooqui ended on March 31, 2020.  After this, the government gave the board a six-month extension. The term of the members of the board was extended for six months for the second time after September 30.

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