Mutation means transfer or change of title in the records of the local municipal body for the concerned property. The change in title ownership may occur due to a number of reasons like death of the original owner and subsequent transfer of the ownership due to inheritance or succession. Below is the list of reasons when  the need for property mutation arise. 

  • When you buy a property.
  • When you inherit a property.
  • When you receive a property through a gift or a will.
  • When you purchase a property through a power of attorney.

Mutation

Land is a state subject and each state has a record of land/property deals. These records act as a proof of ownership and help the common man to keep their property investments safe. As all the information regarding land records are registered, this reduces the scope for property-related frauds. The records show who owns a particular property and what kind of encumbrances are there against it. All buyers and investors have to do, to stay clear of fraudsters is to check these records. Now, once a buyer completes the land-buying process, the responsibility to get the new information registered in the revenue records arises. Land and property mutation also helps the state to fix property tax liability. In different states, the process has different nomenclature. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for example, the process is known as Dakhil-Khariz (entry-omission).

For buyers of flats and apartments, the transfer of ownership takes place as soon as the property’s registration is done; mutation is more of a legal formality, which can be completed any time after the transaction. However, one would have to show the mutation documents, if one were to sell the property in future. These documents may also be required, while applying for utilities such as power and water services.

It must be noted that in case of a land buyer, property mutation is compulsory, because without getting this done, the transfer of ownership will not be complete. 

There is a difference in registration of property and mutation. While a property is registered by way of executing the sale deed, after the buyer and the seller reach a consensus, property mutation takes places after the actual transaction. The property mutation process is basically a buyer’s responsibility, wherein the buyer gets his newly-owned asset updated in his name in the local revenue office.

Now the point is how to apply for mutation of property. So its an online application to Municipal bodies that govern your area maintain land records and that is where you have to get the mutation of your land or property done. While you could go online and start the mutation process, since several states have launched services on that front, you would ultimately have to appear in person at the municipal office, to complete the task.

What documents are required for mutation of property?

While documents required to complete the mutation process might vary from state to state, a buyer would have to submit the following:

  • Correctly filled property mutation application form
  • Copy of the sale/title deed
  • Affidavit on stamp papers
  • Indemnity bond
  • Copy of  Aadhaar Card
  • Property tax receipts
  • Copy of will or succession certificate or death certificate of the owner (if applicable)

People have a misconception that ownership of an agricultural land or an immovable property is witnessed by the relevant entry in the revenue or the municipal records. It is true that mutation entries are relevant and primary for ascertaining the title but is not the sole deciding factor to determine legal ownership. It is common that in a dispute over title of an immovable property, the parties usually assert their title by placing reliance upon their name being reflected in the revenue records, which is not conclusive.. Owners must recall here that mutation entries can only be used as proof of possession over a property and not ownership. The Supreme Court of India has passed several judgements stating that. A bench comprising Justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose said it cannot be disputed that the right on the basis of the will can be claimed only after the death of the executant of the will. As per the settled proposition of law, mutation entry does not confer any right, title or interest in favour of the person and the mutation entry in the revenue record is only for the fiscal purpose, the bench said.

The apex court said that if there is any dispute with respect to the title and more particularly when the mutation entry is sought to be made on the basis of the will, the party who is claiming title/right has to approach the appropriate court. It said that the applicant’s rights can only be crystallised by approaching the court and only thereafter on the basis of the decision before the civil court necessary mutation entry can be made.

Referring to its earlier decisions, the top court said that mutation of property in revenue records neither creates nor extinguishes title to the property nor has it any presumptive value on title. Such entries are relevant only for the purpose of collecting land revenue, it said. Entries in the revenue records or jamabandi have only fiscal purpose, i.e., payment of land revenue, and no ownership is conferred on the basis of such entries. Supreme Court further observed that so far as the title of the property is concerned, it can only be decided by a competent civil court. 

List of Court Judgement in this regards

  •  Balwant Singh & Anr. Vs. Daulat Singh (dead) by L.Rs. & Ors. (1997) 7 SCC 137 
  • Suman Verma Vs. Union of India & Ors., (2004) 12 SCC 57 
  • Sawarni v. Inder Kaur and Others AIR 1996 SC 2823
  • tate of U.P. vs. Amar Singh JT 1996(10) SC 43
  • Venkatachala Gounder vs. Arulmigu Viswesaraswami and V. P. Temple and another AIR 2003 S.C. 4548

Thus, it is beyond doubt that entries in revenue records are not documents of title & Mutation does not create or extinguish title in any property. These entries are only fiscal in nature to enable the State to collect revenue from the person recorded. They do not convey any rights or title in any property.

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