Kolkata High Court in India’s West Bengal grants Shias membership in Religious Endowments Board

The Kolkata High Court in India’s West Bengal state has agreed to grant a special membership to the Shias in the management of the religious endowments board.

The court also overturned an order issued by the state’s minority affairs secretary, which included removing one of the appointees to the religious endowments board as a representative of the Shia minority, because he is not a Shia and is not qualified for this position.

The court’s decision comes after a petition filed by a group of followers of the Ahlulbayt, peace be upon them, from the custodians of Shia shrines and the owners of the Husseini processions.

According to media reports followed by Shia Waves Agency, the Shias demanded that “the person appointed by the government be removed and his membership in the religious endowments board be withdrawn, as he does not represent the sect and is not qualified for it.”

The petitioners called on the High Court to “approve the appointment of a person by them, who has a long history in the field of managing Shia shrines.”

Media reports said that “the court has agreed to conduct a new nomination process to select a Shia member to fill the vacant position in accordance with the Endowments Act of 1995.”

They pointed out that “this position is the right of the Shia sect members who played a major role during their tenure of Shia shrines and cemeteries in the state of West Bengal and were interested in taking care of the proper performance of their work.”

The ruling is a victory for the Shia community in West Bengal, which has long sought representation on the board.

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