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THE WAKF ACT, 1954

Title : THE WAKF ACT, 1954

Year : 1954



(1) With effect from such date as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf, there shall be established a Board of Wakfs under such name as may be specified in the notification.

1*[(1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), if the Shia wakfs in any State constitute in number more than fifteen per cent. of all the wakfs in the State or if the income of the properties of the Shia wakfs in the State constitutes more than fifteen per pent. of the total income of the properties of all the wakfs in the State, the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a Board of Wakfs each for Sunni Wakfs and for Shia Wakfs under such names as may be specified in the notification and in such a case, the provisions of this Act shall, in their application to the State, have effect as if the amendments specified in the Schedule had been made.]

(2) 2*[The Board] shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold property and to transfer any such property subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

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1. Ins. by Act 34 of 1964, s. 5.

2. Subs. by s. 5, ibid., for "The said Board".

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(1) The Board shall consist of-

(a) Eleven members, in the case of a State and the Union territory of Delhi ; and

(b) Five members, in the case of any other Union territory.

(2) There shall be a Chairman of the Board who shall be elected by the members from amongst themselves.



The members of the Board shall be appointed by the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, from any one or more of the following categories of persons, namely :-

(a) Members of the State Legislature and members of Parliament representing the State ;

(b) Persons having 1* knowledge of Muslim law and representing associations such as State Jamiat-ul- Ulama-i-Hind (whether such persons are Hanafi, Ahle-Hadis or Shefai) or State Shia Conference;

(c) Persons having 2*** knowledge of administration, finance or law ;

(d) Mutawallis of wakfs situate within the State :

Provided that in no case more than one mutawalli shall be appointed to the Board :

Provided further that in determining the number of Sunni members or Shia members in the Board, the State Government shall have regard to the number and value of Sunni wakfs and Shia wakfs to be administered by the Board.

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1. Subs. by Act 30 of 1959, s. 3, for sub-section (1).

2. The word "special" omitted by Act 34 of 1964, s. 6.

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The members of the Board shall hold office for five years :

Provided that a member shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term of office, continue to hold office until the appointment of his successor is notified in the Official Gazette.



A person shall be disqualified for being appointed, or for continuing as, a member of the Board-

(a) If he is not a Muslim and is less than twenty-one years of age ;

(b) If he is found to be a person of unsound mind ;

(c) If he is an undischarged insolvent ;

(d) If he has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude;

(e) If he has, on any previous occasion, been removed from the office of a member or has been removed by order of a competent court from any position of trust either for mis-management or corruption.



(1) The Board shall meet for the transaction of business at such times and places as may be prescribed.

(2) The Chairman, or in his absence, any member chosen by the members from amongst themselves, shall preside at a meeting of the Board.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, all questions which come before any meeting of the Board shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present, and in the case of equality of votes, the chairman or, in his absence, any other person presiding shall have a second or casting vote.



(1) Subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, the general superintendence of all wakfs in a State shall vest in the Board established for the State ; and it shall be the duty of the Board so to exercise its powers under this Act as to ensure that the wakfs under its superintendence are properly maintained, controlled and administered and the income thereof is duly applied to the objects and for the purposes for which such wakfs were created or intended :

Provided that in exercising its powers under this Act in respect of any wakf, the Board shall act in conformity with the directions of the wakif, the purposes of the wakf and any usage or custom of the wakf sanctioned by the Muslim law.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the functions of the Board shall be-

(a) To maintain a record containing information relating to the origin, income, object and beneficiaries of every wakf ;

(b) To ensure that the income and other property of wakfs are applied to the objects and for the purposes for which such wakfs were created or intended ;

(c) To give directions for the administration of wakfs ;

(d) To settle schemes of management for a wakf : Provided that no such settlement shall be made without giving the parties affected an opportunity of being heard ;

(e) 1*[To direct-

(i) The utilization of the surplus income of a wakf consistently with the objects of the wakf ;

(ii) In what manner the income of a wakf, the objects of which are not evident from any written instrument, shall be utilized ;

(iii) In any case where any object of a wakf has ceased to exist or has become incapable of achievement, that so much of the income of the wakf as was previously applied to that object shall be applied to any other object which shall be similar, or as nearly as practicable similar, to the original object :

Provided that no direction shall be given under this clause without giving the parties affected an opportunity of being heard.]

Explanation.-For the purposes of this clause, the powers of the Board shall be exercised,-

(i) In the case of a Sunni wakf, by the Sunni members of the Board only ; and

(ii) In the case of a Shia wakf, by the Shia members of the Board only :

Provided that where having regard to the number of the Sunni or Shia members in the Board and other circumstances, it appears to the Board that its power should not be exercised by such members only, it may co-opt such other Muslims being Sunnis or Shias, as the case may be, as it thinks fit, to be temporary members of the Board for exercising its powers under this clause ;

(f) To scrutinise and approve the budgets submitted by mutawallis and to arrange for the auditing of accounts of wakfs ;

(g) To appoint and remove mutawallis in accordance with the provisions of this Act ;

(h)To take measures for the recovery of lost properties of any wakf;

(i) To institute and defend suits and proceedings in a court of law relating to wakfs ;

2*[(j) to sanction in accordance with the Muslim law, any transfer of immovable property of a wakf by way of sale, gift, mortgage, exchange or lease, as required by section 36A :

Provided that no such sanction shall be given unless at least two-thirds of the members of the Board vote in favour of such transaction ;]

(k) To administer the Wakf Fund ;

(l) To call for such returns, statistics, accounts and other information from the mutawallis with respect to the wakf property as the Board may, from time to time, require ;

(m) To inspect, or cause inspection of, wakf properties, accounts or records or deeds and documents relating thereto ;

(n) To investigate and determine the nature and extent of wakfs and wakf property ; and to cause, whenever necessary, a survey of the wakf properties ;

(o) Generally do all such acts may be necessary for the due control, maintenance and administration of wakfs.

(3) Where the Board has settled any scheme of management under clause (d) of sub-section (2) or given any direction under clause (e) of sub-section (2), any person interested in the wakf or affected by such settlement or direction may institute a suit in a civil court of competent jurisdiction for setting aside such settlement or directions and the decision of the civil court thereon shall be final.

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1. Subs. by Act 34 of 1964, s. 7, for certain words.

2. Subs. by Act 34 of 1964, s. 7, for cl. (j).

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(1) The Board may, whenever it considers necessary, establish either generally or for a particular purpose or for any specified area or areas committees for the supervision of wakfs.

(2) The constitution, functions and duties of such committees shall be determined from time to time by the Board:

Provided that it shall not be necessary for the members of such committees to be members of the Board. 17. Resignation of Chairman and members. 17. Resignation of Chairman and members. The Chairman or any other member may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the State Government:

Provided that the Chairman or the members shall continue in office until the appointment of his successor is notified in the Official Gazette.



(1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, remove the Chairman of the Board or any member thereof if he-

(a) Is or becomes subject to any disqualifications specified in section 13 ; or

(b) Refuses to act or is incapable of acting or acts in a manner which the State Government, after hearing any explanation that he may offer, considers to be prejudicial to the interests of the wakfs ; or

(c) Fails, without excuse sufficient in the opinion of the Board, to attend three consecutive meetings of the Board.

(2) Where the Chairman of the Board is removed under sub-section (1), he shall also cease to be a member of the Board.



When the seat of a member becomes vacant by his removal, resignation, death or otherwise, a new member shall be appointed in his place and such member shall hold office so long as the member whose place he fills would have been entitled to hold office, if such vacancy had not occurred.



No act or proceeding of the Board shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy amongst its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.



(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Board who shall be a Muslim and shall be appointed by the State Government, in consultation with the Board.

(2) The Secretary shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Board and shall be under its administrative control.

(3) The Board may appoint such other officers and servants as it may consider necessary for the efficient performance of its functions under this Act.



The Board may, by a general or special order in writing, delegate to the Chairman or any other member or to the Secretary or any other officer or servant of the Board 1*[or any committee thereof], subject to such conditions and limitations (if any) as may be specified in the order, such of its powers and duties under this Act as it may deem necessary.

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1 Ins. by Act 34 of 1964, s. 8.

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(1) The Board may allow inspection of its proceedings or other records in its custody and issue copies of the same on payment of such fees and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

(2) All copies issued under this section shall be certified by the Secretary of the Board in the manner provided in section 76 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. (1 of 1872.)

1*[(3) The powers conferred on the Secretary by sub-section (2) may also be exercised by such other officer or officers of the Board as may either generally or specially be authorised in this behalf by the Board.]

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1. Ins. by s. 9, ibid.

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It is hereby declared that the offices of Chairman and members of a Board shall not disqualify, and shall be deemed never to have disqualified, the holders thereof for being chosen as, or for being, members of Parliament. 



(1) Every wakf whether created before or after the commencement of this Act shall be registered at the office of the Board. (2) Application for registration shall be made by the mutawalli :

Provided that such applications may be made by the wakif or his descendants or a beneficiary of the wakf or any Muslim belonging to the sect to which the wakf belongs. (3) An application for registration shall be made in such form and manner and at such place as the Board may prescribe and shall contain the following particulars, so far as possible-

(a) A description of the wakf properties sufficient for the identification thereof ;

(b) The gross annual income from such properties ;

(c) The amount of land revenue and cesses, and of all rates and taxes annually payable in respect of the wakf properties ;

(d) An estimate of the expenses annually incurred in the realisation of the income of the wakf properties ;

(e) The amount set apart under the wakf for-

(i) The salary of the mutawalli and allowances to individuals ; (ii) purely religious purposes ;

(iii) Charitable purposes ; and

(iv) Any other purposes ;

(f) Any other particulars prescribed by the Board.

(4) Every such application shall be accompained by a copy of the wakf deed or if no such deed has been executed or a copy thereof cannot be obtained, shall contain full particulars, as far as they are known to the applicant, of the origin, nature and objects of the wakf.

(5) Every application made under sub-section (2) shall be signed and verified by the applicant in the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908.) for the signing and verification of pleadings.

(6) The Board may require the applicant to supply any further particulars or information that it may consider necessary.

(7) On receipt of an application for registration, the Board may, before the registration of the wakf, make such inquiries as it thinks fit in respect of the genuineness and validity of the application and the correctness of any particulars therein and when the application is 117 made by any person other than the person administering the wakf property, the Board shall, before registering the wakf, give notice of the application to the person administering the wakf property and shall hear him if he desires to be heard.

(8) In the case of wakfs created before the commencement of this Act, every application for registration shall be made, within three months from such commencement and in the case of wakfs created after such commencement, within three months from the date of the creation of the wakf.



The Board shall maintain a register of wakfs which shall contain in respect of each wakf copies of the wakf deeds, when available and the following particulars, namely:-

(a) The class of the wakf ;

(b) The name of the mutawalli ; (c) the rule of succession to the office of mutawalli under the wakf deed or by custom or by usage ;

(d) Particulars of all wakf properties and all title deeds and documents relating thereto ;

(e) Particulars of the scheme of administration and the scheme of expenditure at the time of registration ;

(f) Such other particulars as may be prescribed.



(1) The Board may itself collect information regarding any property which it has reason to believe to be wakf property and if any question arises whether a particular property is wakf property or not or whether a wakf is a Sunni wakf or a Shia wakf, it may, after making such inquiry as it may deem fit, decide the question.

(2) The decision of the Board on any question under sub-section (1) shall, unless revoked or modified by a civil court of competent jurisdiction, be final.



The Board may direct a mutawalli to apply for the registration of a wakf, or to supply any information regarding a wakf or may itself cause the wakf to be registered or may at any time amend the register of wakfs.
Last updated on August, 2016

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