Hyderabad: Lashing out at the Wakf Board for processing marriage certificates of aged Arab sheikhs with young city girls, Lingaraj Panigrahi, principal secretary, minorities welfare department on Monday shot a letter to the Wakf Board chairman Habeebuddin Ahmed seeking a clarification.
In the letter, Panigrahi questioned that if the marriages are prima-facie irregular and illegal, it is not clear as to how the Wakf Board has been processing and attesting the marriage certificates issued by the local qazis. “The board should have reported the details of misconduct committed by such qazis, so as to enable the state government to take further penal action against them under the Qazis Act. The matter needs to be enquired in detail to protect minor girls of the minority community,” said Panigrahi.
Hereafter, qazis have been directed to file the copies of Nikahnamas (marriage booklets) in the Wakf Board at regular intervals. The letter stated that the regular filing of these Nikahnamas should be ensured by the Wakf Board and that the list of defaulting qazis should be furnished to state government to take necessary action against them.
Further, Wakf Board has been asked to make necessary arrangements to verify Nikahnamas to find out prima-facie irregular marriages like marriage of under-aged girls to aged persons and to foreign nationals irrespective of their age. Wherever there is suspicion, such case should be immediately reported to the government. Government will probe further through district minority welfare officer. The Wakf Board should also make a detailed enquiry through its field officers, Panigrahi said. “It is the duty of the state government and also the Wakf Board to see that in the name of marriage, poor girls are not exploited. If we are more vigilant, people indulging in such activities would think twice before doing such inhuman acts,” said Panigrahi. TOI