Does the Mutation of land in revenue records create title over land?

Does the Mutation of land in revenue records create title over land?

Myth

In rural areas, it is a very common presumption that Mutation of Land in Revenue record creates the title over the Land. If a person anyhow manages to update their name in the land records, they start claiming that now the respective piece of land belongs to them.

In this article, precisely we will discuss the legal value of the above statements.

Introduction:

First of all, make this clear that Mutation (In regional language people also refer it as “(Dakhil-Kharij”) and ownership of land are both different concepts in the eye of law.

What is Ownership?

Read in detail about the ownership

Steps Involved when you purchase any property:

Step 1: Registry of the said property under the Registration Act, 1908. 

Step 2: Mutation of the said Property.

What is Mutation?

Mutation is the second process after when the registry of any land or property is done. It simply means that from the land records, the name of the seller of the property has been removed and your name has been updated. Now, you can pay the tax for the said property and enjoy the right to sell the property as well.

In recent times, all the land records are available on the internet. The source of this information is the land records available in the local office and further, these land records are updated as per the mutation records.

Let’s understand this with the help of an Illustration:

Mr. Ram has bought a piece of land from Mr. Shyam and the registry for the same property has been done successfully. Even after this, if you will check the land record on the internet, you will find that the specific piece of land belongs to Mr. Ram.

Now, when the mutation of the said property is done in the name of Mr. Shayam (As I have mentioned above that this is the second step), now you go and check the land records, you will find Mr. Shyam’s name is updated there.

Legal Point

Here we are discussing whether the mutation of land in the revenue records creates a title for the same land?

So, the answer is simply NO.

It is generally seen that when there is a conflict for any piece of land/property, the party asserts the title of the said land/property on the basis of their name is reflected in the revenue records. Mutation entries are maintained for only fiscal (relating to government revenue, especially taxes) purposes, to ensure that the land revenue is paid by the person whose name is recorded thereon. This is to be noted that they are not direct evidence of legal title.

On this point, Honorable Supreme Court has cleared this confusion in many judgments:

In the case of Prahlad Pradhan & others Vs. SonuKumhar& others[1] which was decided on October 16, 2019, court said that “Mutation entry in the revenue records does not create or extinguish title over the land, nor such entry has any presumptive value on the title of such land”.

In Case of Smt. Bhimabai Mahadeo Kambekar (D)Th. LR Vs. Arthur Import and Export Company[2], once again Honourable Supreme Court clarified the law that the mutation entry in the revenue records does not create or extinguish title over the land, nor such entry has any presumptive value on the title of such land.

In Sawarni (Smt.) Vs. Inder Kaur[3], the Supreme Court held that the mutation of a property in the revenue record does not create or extinguish title nor does it have any presumptive value on the title. It only enables the person in whose favour mutation is ordered to pay the land revenue in question.

In Balwant Singh & Anr. Vs. Daulat Singh (dead) by L.Rs. & Ors[4],  similar observations were made by the Supreme Court, where it was held that a party is not divested of his title in the suit property as a result of mutation entry.

In Narasamma & Ors. Vs. State of Karnataka & Ors.[5], the Supreme Court reiterated the above position by observing that it is true that the entries in the revenue record cannot create any title in respect of the land in dispute.

Read more cases on this topic

Conclusion:

There are cases when mutation entries are generally challenged on the ground that they were made surreptitiously or fraudulently or a sale deed relating to a particular transaction was fraudulently made and therefore void.

So, if anyone had falsely or fraudulently updated their name in the land record which originally belongs to you or you have possession of it and you have reasonable ground to believe that the title of the land belongs to you, so need not to worry that the records are showing their name and your have lost your title over the land. You can challenge that mutation in the court of law having its proper jurisdiction.

What if you are not economically sound?

Again need not worry. There is a district legal service authority (district legal cell) in every district and they are constituted for the purpose to help poor persons, needy persons free of cost in their legal issues.

The District Authority is under the direct supervision of the District Judge who acts as an ex-officio Chairman and Sub-Judge I –cum-ACJM as Secretary of DLSA.

So, Visit them, they will be happy to help you.


[1] Prahlad Pradhan vs Sonu Kumhar on 16 October, 2019

[2] Bhimabai Mahadeo Kambekar (Dead) … vs Arthur Import & Export Co.. on 31 January, 2019

[3] Sawarni (Smt.) Vs. Inder Kaur (1996) 6 SCC 223

[4] Balwant Singh & Anr. Vs. Daulat Singh (dead) by L.Rs. & Ors. (1997) 7 SCC 137

[5] Narasamma & Ors. Vs. State of Karnataka & Ors. (2009) 5 SCC 591

Author: Raghvendra Kumar

Founder of indianlegalsolution.com

*The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter only. If you have something to mention, please write down in the comment box.

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7 thoughts on “Does the Mutation of land in revenue records create title over land?

    1. Thanks a lot, sir. Regarding the legal evidence of ownership, It differs from facts to facts of a particular case. According to me, generally for the ownership, these can be helpful:
      1. Produce the registry papers, any will, or any document related to it.
      2. If you don’t have the papers, you can go for the adverse possession concept.
      3. There can be more ways for it.

      1. Thank you. Still, can you call deliberate or fraudulent tampering of land records as mutation? I thought it is mutilation, that’s why.

  1. When the property owned & possessed as well as used for residence in urban area and no revenue is assessed & claimed by revenue department, whether is it mendatory to get the same mutated and updated in his favour? What would be possible harms if not updated?

    1. Dear Sir,

      What if you do not get your property mutated?:

      1. You can’t dispose off that property as the land records will not reflect your name.
      2. If your property will be falsely claimed by others, they will be in benefit as you have not mutated your property yet and land records do not reflect your name.
      3. If your property is taken by the government, there will be an issue in the compensation process because you will claim that this is my property and in records, your name is not present.

      * Please keep in mind, you cant abscond from paying the tax. One day,during you get all your documents corrected, you have to pay for all the previous taxes. So, instead of trouble in the future, please do visit the proper office and pay all the taxes. All future property dispute arises due to ignorant behavior of today.

      If you have some more doubts, please write back.

      Thanks.

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