Land mutation set to get faster from April 1 in Bihar
Mutation of land, which means transfer of ownership of land in official records, is set to get easier and faster from April 1, when registry offices will be linked to circle offices.
At present, while deeds of sale or purchase of land are registered at registry offices, the mutation is carried out at circle offices.
The new system can be only used by property owners who have jamabandi documents (number allotted to raiyats in tenants’ ledger for paying rent against land holdings) in the initial phase.
The jamabandi receipt is a document wherein names of persons mentioned as paying the rent are presumed to be owners of the particular land plot and having possession.
“Land holders selling a plot would be asked to fill a form at the registry office after registration of any sale deed of land. The mutation process would be initiated soon after. The process of mutation would be much easier and faster after interlinking of registry and circle offices,” said Ram Surat Kumar, minister for revenue land reforms.
At present, those having purchased land from its owner have to apply separately at circle offices (CO) for mutation and submit related papers of registry of land.
Complaints about mutation applications pending for months and years and harassment in submission of related papers are common.
The minister also said the circle officers would now have to cite a valid reason for rejecting any application of mutation at their offices so that they do not act in an arbitrary manner in disposing of the mutation related applications. “This has come into effect at all CO offices from today. All the COs have been give necessary directives,” said the minister.
However, there are apprehensions that the new system of accelerating mutation is fraught with the risk of slip-ups.
“It is good the mutation process is being made faster by linking registry and CO offices. But despite jamabandi as a supportive document for ownership of a plot of land for mutation purposes, there could be pending civil suits on the same land. Besides, possession of land is another aspect. So, it is necessary that the verification process is done thoroughly before mutation is done. Corruption should be also checked in the entire process,” said Arvind Kumar , a lawyer based in Patna.