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Maharashtra Minority Commission lying defunct, awaits Chairman

By Siddhant Mohan, TwoCircles.net

Formed with the aim to protect the rights of minorities, the Maharashtra State MInority Commission is still lying headless. With most of the important posts lying vacant, the commission is finding it hard to act and take actions. But the funds allocation of the commission has still increased.

The fact came to light in a reply to RTI application filed by Mumbai based RTI activist Sharique Raza Shaikh, the commission responded that it is yet to fill posts of vice chairman and members of the commission.

As per Maharashtra State Minority Commission Act 2005, the commission has one post of chairman, one post of vice chairman and nine posts of commission members. But all these are lying vacant.

However, the Commission had a chairman for more than two years but the chairman too was sacked. Mohammad Hussain Khan took over the chairman post on January 15, 2015, but was removed from his post on July 5, 2017, on the serious allegations of meeting criminals in his office and interfering in Wakf board affairs.

Since then, the post of the commission’s chairman, along with the others are lying vacant. The Commission’s other employees do not have any information on when these posts will be filled.

The dilapidated state of commission does not stop here. As per RTI the Commission does not maintain any website for official information, it also does not have any email address. Though it was claimed that website is under construction. But even after six months passed, the commission’s website is not yet functional. Secretary of the commission Zameer Shaikh told TwoCircles.net, “IT department is advised for the same, it shall come live very soon.”

As for now, the Commission runs on only 12 employees from Secretary to Guard . Secretary Zameer Shaikh remarked: “We do not have the authority to speak up if when the remaining of the appointments will be done. That is the ministry’s job and I am too their subordinate.”

The Commission is also failing to utilize all of the funds allocated to it. During the fiscal year of the 2015-16 total of 5,84,87,000 rupees were allocated from which 47,25,276 rupees were returned to the ministry. The allocated fund was increased this year to 6,34,47,508 rupees out of which the 4,31,52,726 rupees have been spent in the current fiscal year. One employee of the Commission tells on the condition of anonymity, “This unplanned expenditure is mostly because of the lack of authorities at the upper level.”