Cabinet approves Waqf Bill

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a bill that seeks to give waqf properties the status of public premises and make unauthorised occupation of waqf land a criminal offence.

The Waqf Properties (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Bill is expected to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament set to begin February 5.

Sources said the proposed law will empower estate officers employed with waqfs to remove encroachment on their properties and prosecute the offenders.

Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan has been a strong votary of the bill, insisting that the development of waqf properties is not feasible if the widespread encroachment on them is not dealt with strongly.

Earlier the Sachar Committee had recommended that waqf properties be treated as public premises as these properties are for the benefit of public and encroachment on these properties to be treated as encroachment on government land, the official statement said.

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