Mahants and individuals cannot be the owner of 'Kabir Math' land that can belong only to the sect, said the chairman of Bihar Religious Trust Board, Akhilesh Kumar Jain.
The Board will treat ownership claims by individuals as illegal to clean up discrepancies in the revenue records. The move will check widespread unlawful sale and purchase of the land of these maths. The decision was taken after consulting heads of four Kabir Maths of Samstipur, Siwan, Vaishali and Varanasi, he said.
"We have reports about many discrepancies in the revenue records of Kabir Math properties in the state. In some cases, mahants of the respective maths got the properties registered in their names, which is illegal. Now, we will not allow this practice and instruction have been given that ownership of properties of these maths must lie with the sect only. Decision has been taken with the consent of heads of four maths", Jain told PTI.
Once the landed properties of Kabir maths are registered in the name of the sect, it would not be possible to sell it by any individual or mahant, he said. “Instructions have also been issued to unregistered Kabir maths in the state, to get themselves registered with the Bihar Religious Trust Board. As per the existing the Bihar HinduReligious Trusts Act 1950, all religious trusts in the state should be registered with the Board”, said the Chairman.
All District Magistrates and other concerned officers of the Revenue department of districts have also been informed about this decision of the board and they have been asked to coordinate with Kabir maths located in their respective areas, he added.
Earlier, the state government had announced that ownership of land of temples and monasteries registered or affiliated with the Board will lie with the shrines.
It is believed that around 50 per cent of landed properties of Kabir Maths in the state have already been sold by heads or individuals of these maths.
Now, the board is trying to prepare a detailed list of total number of Kabir maths operating in the state and also their landed properties, worth several crores of rupees.
Kabirpanth was formed after the name of Saint Kabir and had begun to extend its base in several parts of Bihar. One of the earliest maths founded for Kabirpanthi was at Dhanauti located in Saran district in the state. Later, two more maths were founded in Madhubani and Samastipur districts in the state.