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 sahabs 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
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.