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Haroon Yusuf’s illegal use of Waqf driver

New Delhi: Haroon Yusuf, presently Delhi’s minister for energy and power was Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board about a decade ago i.e. from March 1999 to March 2004 (5 years). Simultaneously, he was also an MLA from Ballimaran assembly constituency within the Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency. As Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board he was given an official car and driver. Subsequently he became a minister in the Delhi government but after the expiry of his term as chairman of Delhi Waqf Board in March 2004, as a matter of rule he should have surrendered his official car and driver. Even otherwise, as a minister in the Delhi government he was entitled to an official car and driver. It is said that even after becoming the minister he was utilising the services of Waqf Board’s driver (whose name is Rafiq). What is objectionable is that though as a minister an official car and a driver must have been put at his disposal by the Delhi government but because of retaining the Waqf Board’s driver, his salary was and even now is being paid by Waqf Board. Neither Haroon Yusuf himself surrendered Waqf Board’s driver nor did the Waqf Board recall him, with the result that his salary from March 2004 (when Haroon Yusuf left the post of Delhi Waqf Board’s chairman) till date is being paid by Delhi Waqf Board. This driver’s present monthly salary is Rs. 20,000. Even if his average salary from March 2004 till date is taken as Rs. 15000 per month, the total amount comes to more than Rs. 16 lakh which is not only an unnecessary burden on the Waqf Board but also unauthorised and illegal, seeing that Delhi Waqf Board is already facing a financial crunch and is unable to meet its responsibilities like payment of salaries to Masjid Imams and Muazzins, financial assistance to widows and other poor people, financial assistance to madrasas etc. in addition to the salaries of its staff and meeting its own establishment expenses.

When these irregularities on the part of Delhi Waqf Board as well as Haroon Yusuf himself were made public, milli leaders as well as Muslims in general expressed their unhappiness and terming this as corruption, demanded the resignation of Haroon Yusuf on moral as well as legal grounds. President of All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, reacting to this said that though it is a small scam, it is a matter of great shame and dishonesty on the part of public leaders. He demanded that Delhi government enquire into this matter and if allegations and misuse of official position and funds are proved, action should be taken against him accordingly. Some other milli leaders like Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji of Jamat Ahl-e Hadees, Dr Tasleem Rahmani of Muslim Political Council of India while expressing their displeasure criticised both Haroon Yusuf as well as Chaudhari Mateen Ahmad, Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board. They demanded that Haroon Yusuf at least on moral grounds should himself resign or else the chief minister Shiela Dikshit should remove him. They also held Mateen Ahmad, of knowingly or unknowingly being responsible for the misuse of Waqf Board’s resources and the corruption rampant in Waqf Board because of which Waqf properties are being misused by its own people and resulting in losses worth crores of rupees to the Board.

President of All India Imam Association Maulana Muhammad Sajid Rashidi said that it is unfortunate that all those who became chairman of the Waqf Board looted Waqf Board and its properties and played unforgettable role in its decline. He said that during his 5 years chairmanship he did not convene even a single meeting of the Board and that he gave hundreds of bighas of Waqf Board’s lands in Ram Ghat to Delhi Transport Corporation without any compensation. He also said that these so-called Muslim ministers are in no way representing Muslim interests but are building the future of their family members during their periods in government. Some people said that the least he should do is to return all the salary amounts of his driver to the Waqf Board. Others said that the pity is that Board’s Chairman Chowdhary Mateen Ahmad remained a silent spectator for all these years. Another person said on condition anonymity that during Haroon Yusuf’s time there have been excessive irregularities which cannot be forgotten. He also said that the Waqf Board’s official car used by his predecessor Siraj Pracha was given to him (Haroon Yusuf) but he never used it because as a minister he was given another car. He said that Waqf Board’s car was seen at his (Haroon Yusuf’s) sister’s residence. So it should also be enquired whether that car was received back from his sister or not.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 14

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