GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat Waqf Board has announced the implementation of the provisions of the newly-enacted central law, the ‘Waqf (amendment) Act-2013′, in the state from November 1, 2013. Under the new act, no foreigner can be a Mutawalli (manager of waqf property) in India. Only an Indian citizen can serve as a Mutawalli in this country.
Under the new law, ‘Waqf’ means the permanent dedication by any person, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable. Such a purpose can include, among others a waqf-alal-aulad which allows (when the line of succession fails) for property to be dedicated for any purpose recognised by Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable. The income from such a waqf shall be spent on education, development, welfare and such other purposes recognised by Muslim law.
A special Survey Commissioner of Waqf will be appointed in the state. There will be a state-level tribunal to check encroachment and illegal use of waqf properties. The tribunal shall have the power to assess damages caused by unauthorised occupation of waqf property and to penalise such unauthorized occupants for their illegal actions. The Union Government has also reprimanded the state Wakf Board for failing to create proper digitized records of Wakf properties in the state and ordered a survey of all wakf properties using a GPS-based system.
Under the new act, one Muslim person who has professional experience in town planning or business management, social work, finance or revenue, agriculture and development activities will be nominated by the state government to the Wakf board. Likewise, one person each from among Muslims to be nominated by the state government from recognised scholars in Shia and Sunni Islamic theology, and one person from among Muslims to be nominated by the state government from among officers of the state government not below the rank of joint secretary in the state government.