Devaswom Tribunal to retain one lakh acres Temple land

Kerala: Govt to form Devaswom Tribunal.

Thiruvananthapuram, March 7: The Kerala state government is planning to form a Devaswom Tribunal to retain the encroached properties of it. The tribunal is in line with the Munnar Tribunal to deal with the encroachment of lands owned by temples in Kerala.

A retired judge would be heading the tribunal. Approximately one lakh acres of Dewaaswom land is found missing across the state. This estimation is apart from the land distributed under the Land Reforms Act.

The plan was to introduce the bill on this during the budget session. But later it has been decided to issue an ordinance, as the parliamentary session is set to end on March 14.

Under the three main Devaswom Boards, there are over 3000 temples, Apart from Guruvayoor and Koodalmanikyam temples. The draft bill recommends the tribunal to take hold of the properties which comes under this jurisdiction. However, there exist differences of opinion on bringing the land disputes of temples owned by families and private trusts under the jurisdiction of this newly setting up tribunal.

Cases over land disputes pending or existing before the court may also be transferred to the tribunal.