Charity Commission ruling on Islamic charity could be sent for judicial review

Charity tribunal refers complaint about Imamia Mission London to the Administrative Court

The Charity Commission’s decision not to open a formal inquiry into allegations about an Islamic centre in east London could be sent to the Upper Tribunal for judicial review.

Basharat Hussain, a former trustee of the Imamia Mission London, the charity that runs the centre in Newham, complained to the commission in September 2009 that one of its trustees had been convicted of criminal offences that should prevent him from continuing to serve on the board.

The commission responded to the complainant in June, saying the person had resigned as an administrative trustee, so was not involved in the running of the charity, but was a holding trustee because he was still listed as a trustee on documents held by the Land Registry.

At the time, the commission said it was "currently engaging" with him to ensure he also resigned as a holding trustee.

In his appeal to the tribunal, Hussain claimed that the commission had breached its statutory duty by failing to investigate misconduct in the administration of the charity.

In July, the tribunal ruled that it is not within its jurisdiction to ask the commission to investigate the charity any further, but has referred the case to the Administrative Court, which will decide whether judicial review can be granted.

If it is granted, the case will be referred to the Upper Tribunal, where a judge could instruct the commission to reconsider its decision.

It is the first time the tribunal has referred a complaint about the commission’s decision not to investigate a case. The tribunal cannot ask the commission to investigate a case, and has previously struck out appeals that ask it to do so.

Sayyed Shah, chair of Imamia Mission London, said he was unaware of the complaint to the commission. He said the trustee convicted of criminal offences was "in the process of applying to the Land Registry be removed as a holding trustee".

Third Sector was unable to contact Hussain for comment.

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