LAKSHADWEEP STATE WAKF BOARD
CONSTITUTED BY GOVERNMENT UNDER WAKF   ACT - 1995

I N T R O D U C T I O N

Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory in our Union. The geographical position is isolated it from other parts of the country. The coral archipelago of the Arabian Sea known as Lakshadweep comprises of 10 inhabited islands and 26 uninhabited islands and islets including coral reefs banks etc. They lie about 220 to 440 KM of the coast of the Kerala between 8" and 12"-13" North latitude and between 71 and 74 East longitude. All the indigenous inhabitants of this territory are Muslims. Due to the geographical isolation and poor financial background of the islands the Central Govt. has declared the people of this area as Scheduled Tribe.

The Lakshadweep Wakf Board was established under the Wakf Act -1954 on 1.10.1963 with Headquarters at Kavaratti. In the beginning the board comprised of 5 members (including the Chairman). All the members (including the local member of Parliament) were nominated by the Administrator of the Lakshadweep. The Chairman was elected among the members. Period of the board was 5 years. The Wakf Act 1995 came into force with effect from 1.1.1996 and consequent to this, the Lakshadweep State Wakf Board was constituted under Section 13 of the Wakf Act, 1995 in 1997, for the Administration and General Superintendents of all Wakfs. The present board members are:-

1. Shri.P.M.Sayeed, Member of Parliament
2. Shri.P.A.Pookoya, Puthiya Alikkakam, Andrott
3. Shri.N.Ismail Musliar, Beliyachada House, Amini
4.. Shri.A.M.Kasmikoya, Superintending Engineer, LPWD, Kavaratti
5. Shri. Pappadam Mohammed, Kavaratti.

Though the board has been constituted during 1997, it actually started functioning with effect from 24.11.99. The board in its meeting held on 24.11.99 elected Shri.P.A. Pookoya as the Chairman of the Board. Under section 23 of the Act.   The Chief Executive Officer of the Lakshadweep State Wakf Board has been appointed by the Administration in consultation with the board. The present incumbent to the post of Chief Executive Officer is a serving Govt. servant and is on deputation to the Board. The Chief Executive Officer acts as the Ex-officio Secretary to the Board. The Chief Executive officer is assisted by an Inspector-cum-Auditor, a U.D.C, an L.D.C and one group ‘D’ employee. The Lakshadweep State Wakf Board functioned at Kavaratti.

INCOME AND EXPENDITURE OF THE BOARD

Under Section 72(1) of the Act the Wakfs having an annual income of more than Rs.5000/- are to contribute upto 7 % of their income to the Board. During the year 2001-2002 Rs.6,518/- were received as the Revenue against an expenditure of Rs.15,51,798/-.The timely extending of Grant-in-Aid by the administration is only financial backing of this Statutory Organization During 2001-2002 an amount of Rs.15,00,000 has been released by the administration as grant-in-aid. 

FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD

The State Wakf Board is dealing with the general superintendents of all Wakfs in this Territory. The Board exercises its powers under the Wakf Act to ensure that the Wakfs under its superintendents are properly maintained controlled and administered and income thereof is duly applied to the objects and for the purpose for which the wakfs are created. It includes maintenance of records containing information relating to the origin, income, objects, and beneficiaries of every wakfs, to give directions for the administration of wakfs, to settle schemes of management for wakf, etc.

In Lakshadweep there are 310 registered wakfs, which consist of small mosques, and having very small area of land surrounding the Mosque with few coconut trees. Average size of land holding is 300 sq.meter. Due to scarcity of land, no separate burial grounds are available in the islands. The dead bodies are buried in the wakf land adjacent to the Mosques depending on the availability of land. Therefore the wakf land can not be used for agricultural or other productive purposes. The annual income from the coconut trees is very less. Some wakf properties are having no income at all.

The Mosque are administered by the Muthavallies. The Muthavallies are assisted by Mukries appointed by him. The coconuts received from the available wakf land are being given to the Mukries as the remuneration for the services rendered by him. Although in other States some financial aid is given to the Mukries and Imams, in Lakshadweep this couldn’t be implemented so far due to several administrative reasons.

SURVEY OF WAKFS

The Wakfs created before commencement of the new Wakf Act were registered under the provisions of the Wakf Act, 1954. The wakf properties are identified by conducting survey of all the wakf properties by the Survey Commissioner and Asst. Survey Commissioners. Wakfs are registered at the office of the Board through application, by the Muthawalli accompanied by a copy of the wakf deed or with full particulars such as origin, nature and objects of the wakf etc. The application form contains the following particulars:

a) A description of the wakf properties sufficient for the identification thereof.

b) The gross annual income from such properties;

c) The amount of land revenue, cesses, rates and taxes annually payable in respect of the wakf property

d) An estimate of the expense annually incurred in the realisation of the income of the wakf property. The Muthawalli is appointed either legally or under any deed or instrument by which a wakf has been created, or by a competent authority, to be the Muthawalli of a wakf. He may even be in position by virtue of a custom prevailing in the area. The tenure of Muthawalli is not fixed and they are not entitled of any remuneration.

e) The amount set apart under the wakf for the salary of the Muthawalli and allowances to the individuals, purely religious purposes, charitable purposes etc.

WAKF TRIBUNAL

The Administrator in consultation with the High Court of Kerala has appointed the District and Sessions Judge of Lakshadweep as wakf Tribunal under section 83 (1) of the Wakf Act, 1995 for the determination of any dispute, question of other matter relating to a wakf or wakf property. The Wakf Tribunal has started functioning w.e.f December 1998. Out of five suits filed the Tribunal so far 4 numbers are pending for disposal.

WELFARE SCHEMES

I. AWARDING OF SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDENTS STUDYING IN ISLAMIC INSTITUTIONS

The students who are studying in Islamic Institutions (Dharas) at mainland are being given annual scholarship @ Rs.1700/- per student. Students who are studying in V standard and above in all the Madrassas in islands are being given scholarship @ Rs.300/- for the students who are keeping high standard in their respective classes. During the year 2001-2002 an amount of Rs.6,50,805 has been spent in this regard.

II. MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE TO WIDOWS/DIVORCED WOMEN

The scheme has been implemented for the upliftment of poor widows/destitutes of this remote area. The Widows/Divorced women are being sanctioned maintenance allowance @ Rs.1000/- per head in a year. The beneficiaries under this scheme are selected on the basis of the certificates given by the Amins in the islands. During the year 2001-2002 an amount of Rs.1,64,000 has been spent under this scheme.

III. AID TO MOSQUES

Some mosques that are having no sufficient funds for their repair and maintenance. The Board gives some assistance for the repair/renovation of these mosques and for the purchase of some essential articles required to the Mosques subject to the availability of funds. During the year 2001-2002 two Mosques are assisted by giving Rs.6000/- each.

IV.              AID TO ISLAMIC LIBRARIES

The Libraries functioning along with the Madrassas are having no reference books or latest publications.  The usage of library itself is found to be not much satisfactory in the Madrassas.  By comparing the present position with schools, the Madrassas standard is too far below in providing of good libraries in their respective institutions.  Most of the institutions could not pay attention in this area due to shortage of fund.  The Madrassas fund are very limited and that even is not at all enough to meet the requirements of the academic establishment, understanding the major bottleneck of the Madrassas, the board supplied good reference books.

V.                 SUPPLY OF HEARES TO 69 WARDS/BLOCKS IN THE ISLANDS

Board has provided an amount of Rs.18,000/- for this scheme.  3 Nos of hearse has been supplied to various mosques in the islands and demand came from the public to supply 3 or 4 to each islands.  The interest of the public will be taken into consideration as per the budget provisions.  It is not required to be supplied to all the mosques but providing it to every blocks will be must and found most needful. 

PROPOSED WELFARE SCHEMES FOR THE YEAR 2002-2003.

1.      Renovation, Repair of Old Mosques and Maqubaras:- 

People of this remote area are now very much interested to remould the structure of their mosque.  Since the income of their respective mosques are very low,  the Muthavallies are in capable to take up the project within the meager income derived from the Wakf.  The only source which they depend and sought is from the Wakf Board.  An amount of  Rs.2, 47, 000/-  is proposed for the said scheme.

2.      Construction of Houllu (Concrete mini tank) Attached to Mosque:-

Along with under taking the project work of renovation, board has directed the concerned muthavallies to construct mini tank attached to the mosque for taking ablution (ozhu).  This will provide a hygienic nature of impression and look a good style of functioning of prayers in the mosque. An amount of Rs.1,00.000 is proposed.   

3.      Appointment of Imam/Muazzims and Payments :-

No Mosque in Lakshadweep, except Juma Mosque Imam is being appointed.  No such systems are followed of appointing Imam.  The post of Imam are generally being appointed in Juma Mosque (Main Mosque) either by jamait or by Government whenever dispute arise.  Whoever conducts and guides Namaz are Imam.  But in Mosques in Lakshadweep who ever is conversant with the tenets of Namaz are conducting  Namaz.  It is purely voluntary in nature.  In effect, in almost all 300 Mosques in Lakshadweep  no Imam are being appointed except in Juma Mosque in each island.  In case dispute occur, the government appoints Imam.  But where there is no dispute the Imams are being selected by Jamait and Muthawallies.  Succinctly stated only in Juma Mosque in islands regular Imam selected Jamait or appointed by Government are performing and guiding the juma regular prayer (Namaz) these Imams are not paid by the Wakf Board or by the Government.  This is the state of affairs followed in Lakshadweep Island. Now direction has been given to the Board by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (Wakf Section) vide their letter No.1(14)/98 – Wakf dated:26th July 2002 that a scheme has to be drawn for payment of salaries to Imams&Muazzims.  In this connection it is submitted that the Wakf Board in island cannot envisage new scheme and systems without financial assistants form the government for proper implementation of the schemes which is proposed to be made.  An amount of Rs.27, 00, 000/- earmarked for the purpose.

4.      Conduct of Inter Island Madrassa Competition:-

Under this scheme it is proposed to conduct competitions for 150 Madrassa students. The main idea for the conduct of this programme is to link the activities of the board with the Madrassa administration. By the conduct of this programme the students will be able to under stand each other and their performance can be improved.  An amount of Rs.1, 50,000/- proposed.

5.      Conduct of Workshop/Seminars for religious scholars :-

The income of the wakf properties of Lakshadweep is very meager.  The most of the area surrender the mosque are utilized for burial purposes.  So the little part of the land left couldn’t be utilized for any cultivation/improvements.  In this connection it felt very much needed to find out solutions  how to develop wakf properties in Lakshadweep.  This can be achieved only through discussion and seminars. The suggestions of the religious scholars will be very much help full for the Board to draw up a scheme for the development of wakf properties.

6.      Honorarium to old age Mukkries of Mosques :-

In Lakshadweep Mukkries are not paid or gets any relief from any corner.  Most of the time they spent in the mosque and hence they are not in a position to go for any job. The financial backing of  mukries are too pathetic. They are rendering dedicated service to the society without any sort of financial assistants.  Considering their poor financial backing board proposed to give honorarium to those who cross 50 year of age.  An amount of Rs.2,79,000/- is earmarked.

            Before concluding the report the Board wish to place all its records of indebtenence and profound gratitude to the Hon’ble Administrator for taking keen interest in the affairs of the Wakf and for extending timely relief and assistance to the board.  The Board is also indebted to the Central Wakf Council and the union Ministry for Welfare Wakf division and officers of the Ministry of the Welfare for their variable assistance and guidance so far extended to this charitable institution.