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Dargah Committee Scraps Sitting Fee

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Bangalore: The Dargah  Hameedshah and Muhibshah Management Committee has stopped the payment of sitting fee of Rs. 1,000 to its members, according to a resolution it passed following criticism of the decision in a report in November 2011 issue of Islamic Voice  which hit the stand on November 1, 2011. In a reply given to an RTI query to Mr. Moinuddin Chishty, an advocate, the Secretary said  that the Committee in its meeting held on January 21, 2012, resolved to stop payment of Rs. 1,000 to its sitting members for each meeting. However, it added, conveyance allowance of Rs. 300 will continue to be paid for each meeting attended by the members. The Islamic Voice piece titled “Hazrat Hameedsha Dargah Committee Making Hay While Sun Shines’ had reported that the Management  Committee members were paid Rs. 1.76 lakh to the members towards sitting fee and conveyance during the eight months in 2011. Acting quickly to the criticism, the Committee also disbursed Rs. 10,14,000 towards scholarship on November 19, 2011. The report in our monthly had stated that only Rs 3 lakh had been disbursed till October 2011 towards scholarship. But the RTI reply says that Rs. 8.32 had been disbursed at one go on August 20. But in a rejoinder to this paper, the secretary of the Committee Fayaz Qureshi had stated that Rs. 32 lakh has been disbursed by that date. The reply to the RTI query makes it abundantly clear that what Mr. Qureshy claimed was untrue and the Committee hurriedly disbursed Rs. 10,14,000 on November 19, 2011, after it became a butt of criticism in the Islamic Voice report. Mind it that the newspaper had reported the matter on November 1, 2011. So effectively, the Committee had  disbursed only Rs. 19,80,000 by January 21, 2012 as against its claim of Rs. 32  lakh going for scholarship.