Matter reaches HC; It’s family dispute: VC Waqf Board – Donation Sharing Row
Controversy is brewing over the distribution of donations at the Kashmir’s most revered Hazratbal shrine with younger brothers of Ghulam Hassan Banday, who displays the holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) at the shrine, alleging that their share worth lakhs of rupees was gobbled by their elder brother.
Ghulam Hassan’s two younger brothers, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din and Muhammad Ashraf, have moved High Court seeking settlement of the issue. They accused the Muslim Waqf Board of siding with their elder brother.
“We have been waiting for almost two years, hoping that the Board (Waqf) would resolve the issue, but to no avail,” said Mohi-ud-Din. “We are forced to approach the High Court as our elder brother took the charity share in full, leaving us high and dry.”
“Our father passed away in September 1979. We supported our elder brother to perform the services of his father on the condition that the Nazro-Niyaz (charity and donations) to the Hazratbal shrine shall be divided among all the three equally,” Mohi-ud-Din said, adding, in the first two years they were equal share holders of the charity amount. “But in 1982, our elder brother started reducing our share and then stopped it suddenly. He started projecting himself as the only person who deserved charity and donations,” he further said.
Mohi-ud-Din said as per the verbal agreement, the elder brother was supposed to get 40 percent share while the two younger ones 30 per cent each. “We tried to persuade our brother to give us our due but he did not part with that and even stopped talking to us,” said Muhammad Ashraf, the youngest brother.
He said they petitioned Muslim Waqf Board in February 2011 but “Waqf Board delayed the issue for two years forcing us to approach the High Court. As per estimates, our share from 1983 amounts to Rs 30 lakh.”
According to Board order No. 599 of 2007 dated March 27, 2007, the share of Banday and Khadims (of the shrine) is elaborately defined as per percentage. Ashraf said every shareholder gets his due share except them.
“The cheques (of share) are directly issued in the name of Ghulam Hassan while we are being completely sidelined,” they said. “If our father had three sons, why would the elder one take the entire amount? What kind of justice is this?” they asked.
They also demanded their share in displaying the holy relic as well. “The holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is displayed 10 times a year. We should be given a right to display it equally. Why is our elder brother having all the rights—sharing entire charity amount and displaying of the holy relic. Isn’t it a big injustice,” they said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Vice-Chairman Waqf Board, M Y Qadri, said they have nothing to do with the issue. “The cheque is issued in the name of Ghulam Hassan Banday and others. Why he doesn’t distribute the amount to his two younger brothers is purely a family dispute where Wafq Board has no role,” he said. Qadri further said that the elder brother of Bandays has already brought Fatwas from many Muftis, stating that amount should be given to only those who work in the shrine.