Constitutional Vacuum In Imam Hussain (A.S) Foundation

There is constitutional  vacuum in  Imam Hussain (a.s) Foundation (IHF) which manages Imam Hussain Hospital, pending adjudication in the court  of  law. Why it is so, and who is responsible for this? This question haunts every  sincere citizen.

Many   people  may not be aware of the functioning  of   IHF,constitutional obligations of Chairman, General Council and Founder Trustees. With a view to inform general public about the factors responsible for current crisis we have tried to dig out the sequence of  events which  led  to  the present constitutional  vacuum. It may be mentioned that we do not have any bias or ill will against any Ulema  because we respect all of them.

But that does not mean we will shy away from healthy criticism when it comes to the  affairs  of  the  community.We believe  in promoting brotherhood  and  creating  an  atmosphere  of  peace  and tranquility  and  denounce  any  attempt  of browbeating,  hooliganism and lawlessness.

March  2006,  was  an  important day in the history of Imam Hussain (a.s) Foundation,  when  a  meeting  of  the  general council was convened at Shah Abbas Hotel  by founder trustees in which  Ulema  Council  comprising  of   four  members (Aga  Syed  Muhammad Fazlullah, Maulana Muhammad Abass  Ansari,  Molvi  Iftikhar  Hussain Ansari  and Aga  Syed  Hassan Moosvi)  was formed.  There  was  a consensus  on  the name of Molvi  Iftikhar Ansari  as  chairman  of  the foundation. However  he  was  asked  to convene  another  meeting  of  the  general council   as   quickly   as   possible.

Subsequently   another   important meeting  of  the  general council  was  convened  in  the premises  of Imam  Hussain  Hospital in  April  2006,  in  which  the  Aga Syed Hassan  Moosvi,  moved  a resolution  for  election  of  Molvi  Iftikhar,  as  Chairman  of  the Foundation  for  a  period  of  one year. The resolution was adopted unanimously.

There is no doubt about it that Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari exercised  his  official  influence  to  get  funds  from  the Government chest  for  construction  of    ring  bund  around the Hospital  and  earth filling  from  backside  of  the  Hospital  which  was  full  of  water.  Molvi sahib also helped the foundation in raising the level of the hospital at the expenses of the government.

During his tenure computer system was introduced in the hospital for the first time and lab reports were also computerized. Pharmacy was taken over from the tenant  by  the  administration  which  is backbone  of  income  of  the Hospital.  Molvi   Sahib   played important   role   in   liquidating   loan component  to  the  J&K Bank  which was no doubt a hanging  sword  over the hospital.  The Para  Medical  School  was upgraded  which  generated  significant income  and Dialysis Unit was also upgraded  by  improving  the  R.O and  purchase  of  a  few  dialysis machines. Aga Nursing Home was leased out and in return  foundation  got  a  donation  of  45  lakh rupees which  were  not deposited  in  the  chest  of  Imam  Hussain Foundation,  inspite  of  a number of letters from Aga Syed Hassan impressing upon the adhoc Chairman to deposit this amount in the account of the Foundation   and  also  requesting  for  convening  a meeting  of  the general  council  for  election  of  full time Chairman. 

Unfortunately Molvi sahib did not pay any heed to the request of Aga Syed Hassan. Molvi sahab’s death  in  2014  created  a constitutional  vacuum which we are facing today.

Molvi Imran Raza Ansari, suo motto assumed the charge of the Chairman of the foundation despite the fact that he is neither  basic  member of  general  council  nor  of Ulema Council.    It  is constitutional obligation  on  the chairman to convene meeting of the general council whenever   required,which  unfortunately was  not done.

The  present constitutional  vacuum  is  result  of  not  convening  of general council meeting for election of a chairman because the term of  office  of  Molvi  sahib was  validated  by  the general council  for  only one year  which  expired  in  2008.  If  the  predecessor  fails  to  nominate  or elect successor, it results in constitutional vacuum.

Constitution of Imam Hussain (a.s) Foundation is source of authority. Once Chairman is elected in the meeting of general council, it confers   authority   on him and is  a constitutional   obligation on   him to  convene  meetings  of  general  council  whenever required  and  take Ulema  Council  in  confidence  in  all  important  matters. Unfortunately there was communication gap between Ulema Council on a number of issues. It is the duty of the Chairman to supervise the working of the Hospital   and   its   units periodically   and   generate   income   for  the foundation.   The Imam Hussain Hospital  is   not   a   private pr operty.  It  is  trust  and  all  stakeholders (Aga  Syed Hassan, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Founder Trustees and the general public) need to be taken  into confidence for election of a chairman, which seems to be distant dream   because   few clerics   are   trying   to   enforce   their supremacy in the foundation. High Court has issued a number of stay orders  when their actions were not in consonance with the spirit of the constitution. There is no scope of political speech in Imam

Hussain Hospital  or any attempt which promotes browbeating, hooliganism  or  gundaism. The ulema  of our community are not only political leaders but also religious scholars. But  it  is  painful  that  they  are  trying  to  divide the  community  for narrow   benefits.Keeping   in   view   the present   scenario   in   the hospital we will request the High Court to issue orders for conduct of  election  of  the  chairman  through an  independent agency  on  the lines  of  Gurudwara  Prabandhak Committee, whose  elections  were held under the supervision of the High Court  when the said  committee   was   facing   constitutional vacuum   some years back. 

Nisar   Ali   Bhat

General   Secretary,   Shia   Devlopment Forum

Bagwanpora, Srinagar.

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