KOCHI: Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Friday informed the High Court that it has decided not to lease out Devaswom land for cultivation to private parties. The TDB filed the affidavit in response to the court’s directive to explain whether any persons were permitted to effect cultivation in Devaswom’s properties. The order was issued on a plea filed by R V Babu, general secretary of Hindu Aikya Vedi, Kerala, against the move to auction bronze utensils offered to the deity by devotees and the land belonging to the temple.
The secretary submitted that the Board in its meeting held on April 30 resolved to cultivate the vacant land owned by it under all temples and detailed guidelines for cultivating the lands were issued on May 15. The Board had also planned to lease out the property for cultivation to individuals or organisations through public auction for a three-year period, in case the cultivation cannot be taken up by the employees and the temple advisory committee.
But the proposal was later given up by the board considering the fact that the leasing out will lead to a situation where the possession of Devaswom property will reach third parties, though for a short period. Hence, the board in its meeting held on June 19 resolved not to lease out temple land for cultivation to third parties.