CIC claims that the 1993 Order On Salaries To Imams By Supreme Court, Violated Constitution Of India And Set A Wrong Precedent
New Delhi: On Friday, 25th of November, 2022, the Central Information Commission (CIC) claimed that the 1993 order on salaries to Imams by the Supreme Court violated the Constitution of India. They further stated that the decision created a “wrong precedent” and sparked an unneeded political brawl.
What Was The Case?
The Supreme Court’s judgment in All India Imam Organisation and v. Union of India and Ors. was passed in May 1993. And now, the Central Information Commission has claimed that it violates the Constitution and has set a wrong precedent.
You need to know that the Supreme Court ordered the State Waqf Boards to pay Imams in mosques under their management in the All India Imam Organisation case (supra) in 1993. It was the bench of the Supreme court headed by Justice RM Sahay who gave the orders after the appeal by the All India Imam Organization.
When Was This Observation Made?
During a session on an RTI request submitted by RTI activist Subhash Agrawal on Friday, Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar observed the wages provided to imams by the Delhi Waqf Board Delhi government.
The Delhi Waqf Board has yet to respond suitably to the activist’s application. The panel noted in its ruling that the SC’s order had gone against constitutional clauses forbidding tax money to support a particular faith.
What Were The Observations Made By The CIC
In its decision, the CIC also noted that providing unique advantages to the Muslim community before 1947 was a significant factor in fostering pan-Islamic and fissiparous inclinations in a subset of Muslims. He added that this further ultimately contributed to the division of the country.
Giving pay to Imams and others only in mosques, according to the ruling, equates to not only abandoning the Hindu population and adherents of other non-Muslim Minority religions. It instead equates to fostering pan-Islamist inclinations among those Indian Muslims who are already displaying them as well.
Regarding the issue of the Delhi Waqf Board, the commission stated in its judgment that the Board receives an annual grant from the Delhi Government of Rs. 62 crores. But, its monthly salary from independent sources is only about Rs. 30 lakhs.
What Did The CIC Have To Say?
The CIC asked to send a copy of its order to the Union law minister and the appropriate measures to ensure that the provisions of articles 25 to 28 of the Constitution are enforced in letter and spirit. It is about keeping in mind the equality factor in terms of monthly reimbursement to priests of various faiths at the expense of the public exchequer.
The commissioner further added that the Supreme court’s ruling created a bad precedent for the nation. And it has turned into a focal point for needless political scuffles and social unrest in the community.
What Happened Eventually?
The CIC stated that the 1993 order on salaries to imams by the Supreme court violated the Constitution of India. The panel then directed the Delhi CM’s office to reply to RTI application questions and to give complete information. It should include all pertinent documents regarding honoraria paid to imams and other individuals in Delhi’s mosques.
The CIC has asked the Delhi Waqf Board to pay RTI activist Subhash Agrawal compensation for the time and resources he expended looking for a response to his request.