Mutation means insertion of the name of the new owner in the Khatiyan (Record of Rights) instead of the former owner after transferring the ownership of a land. Mutation is indispensable to establish the proprietary rights over the property. Moreover, it is essential to create new holding for the purpose of payment of rent in own name which will avert further complicacy in terms of possession and enjoyment of that land.
Ownership may be transferred through kabala/sell, gift, exchange, will, waqf, inheritance or by the Govt. through settlement of khas land to the landless. However, one cannot claim ownership of a piece of land officially without presenting the document of mutation. Additionally, without mutating the name of the new owner there is high possibility to transfer the property again by the former owner. Because he/she is the documentary owner of that land until the necessary changes took place in the Khatiyan. In addition, mutation is essential to transfer, register or payment of tax. Hence it is the duty of the new owner to mutate his/her name in the record of rights properly and cautiously.
Concerned authority to mutate land
Assistant Commissioner (AC) (Land) is the authority where an owner of a land can apply to mutate his/her name in the official record. However, there is an assistant mutation officer in the AC (Land) office who will deal the matter primarily and an officer equivalent to Najir will take the relevant fees for mutation. Nevertheless, an inquiry will be conducted by the Tahshilder (assistant settlement officer) to confirm the real ownership of the property before such mutation.
How to apply
To mutate a piece of land, the owner or his/her duly nominated representative has to apply to the AC (Land) in prescribed form collected from the AC (Land) office or on white paper along with court fees worth Tk 100 and mutation fee Tk 25 (after getting approval) accompanied by other required documents.
Additional Tk 1.50 will be required to create and transfer first three divisions from the existing undivided plot/dag. Further Tk .50 will be needed to make every subsequent division. However, the concerned officer will serve notice to the parties and the applicant is obliged to pay the process fee of Tk 1.50 for each. There is no other requirement to pay any further money for mutation.
In the application form the applicant must clearly mention the name and address of the applicant and the transferor, detail description of the land and its surrounding boundary, size, nature and identification of the land, registered deed number and date of such registration.
Moreover, the applicant ought to affix copy of main deed, via deed, copy of Khatiyan, receipt of payment of land development tax, proof of means to acquire the ownership i.e partition deed, copy of the decree or judgment obtained from competent court (if any), passport size photograph of the applicant etc. with the application.
It is noteworthy to state that no middleman or extra money is necessary to do mutation of land. Applicant himself/herself can do it by paying only prescribed fees to the Govt. exchequer. However, now 60 days is fixed to finish the whole process of mutation in metropolitan area and 45 days for any other region.
Relief against refusal
If the AC (Land) refuses to mutate the name of the applicant for default of document or for any other reason whatsoever, the aggrieved applicant can apply to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) within 30 days from the date of such refusal. However, anyone can apply further to the Additional Divisional Commissioner (Revenue) within next 30 days against the impugned decision of the Additional Deputy Commissioner. Finally the complainant has another forum to appeal to Land Appeal Board within 90 days against an impugned order given by its immediate inferior authority.
Nevertheless, apart from appeal there is alternative option of revision against the alleged decision and any authorise superior officer can alter such order promulgated by the subordinate official after call for the pertinent records. In addition, one can apply for review to the same decision making officer to reconsider his/her decision within 30 days from the date of first decision. However, it should bear in mind that in that circumstance the petitioner will drop his/her right to file appeal.
THE WRITER IS AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF LAW AT DHAKA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY (DIU).