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Registration & Mutation of Land under Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

INTRODUCTION


This provision under the Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886 provides for the maintenance of general registers, and registration of the names of the proprietors and land-holders succeeding to an estate by transfer or inheritance.


Registration under Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886

Meaning and Components of Registration


The term REGISTRATION under the Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886 means recording in the appropriate register, the name of a landholder or proprietor, who has succeeded, by transfer or inheritance, to the estate of a landholder or proprietor. Registration is also often referred to as "MUTATION".


The basic records of rights are kept in the form of 3 registers-

1. General Register of Revenue Paying Estates
2. General Register of Revenue Free Estates
3. Other Registers specified by the State Government under Section 48 of the Regulation

1. Preparation and Maintenance of Registers under Section 48:


The Deputy Commissioner of every district has to maintain general registers of both revenue-paying and revenue-free estates. The General register of revenue-paying estates consist of three parts (Rule 108):


Part I- For permanently-settled estates;


Part II- For temporarily settled estates other than wasteland grants.


This is kept in the periodic Jamabandi from the unit of the district has been re-settled, when a fresh Jamabandi register is prepared by the settlement officer.


Part III- For wasteland granted other than fee-simple and redeemed leases.


2. Persons who are required to apply for registration under Section 50:


Section 50 contemplates four classes of persons who are required to apply for registration of their names. They are:


  1. A person succeeding to an estate, or a share therein as proprietor or land-holder by transfer or inheritance, and obtaining possession of the land,

  2. A joint proprietor or joint land-holder assuming charge of the estate, or a share thereof on behalf of the other proprietors or land-holders,

  3. A manager taking charge of the estate of the proprietor or land-holder, and

  4. A mortgagee in possession of the estate, or any share therein.


A person coming under the above categories is required to apply to the Deputy Commissioner of the district for registration of his name in the general register such as the proprietor, land-holder, manager, mortgagee, stating the nature and extent of his interest.


Such application is to be made within six months of his obtaining possession, or assumption of charge of the estate. A person succeeding to an estate is entitled to registration of his name only when he takes possession of the same.


For registration, acquisition of title to the estate alone is not sufficient, but in addition, the applicant must obtain possession which is an essential condition for the granting of registration (i.e., mutation) of the name. Thus mutation can be granted only based on possession subject to there being a prima facie title.



3. Procedure for registration under Sections 52-54:

Registration under Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886

Section 52 and 53 deals with the procedure to be followed by the Deputy Commissioner in passing an order directing registration when an application is made before him.


Section 53A provides the procedure when the Deputy Commissioner acts on the information received otherwise than through an application.


When an application of registration is made the Deputy Commissioner, on entertaining such an application, causes a general notice to be published called for written objections for persons who may object to the registration of the name of the applicant, or dispute the nature or extent of the interest claimed in the application.


  • The date for submitting objections is so fixed that it is not less than one month from the date of the notice. In the case where the applicant acquired the estate or share thereof by transfer from a person, a copy of the notice is to be served on the transferor, or if he is dead, on his heirs.

  • On the date fixed in the notice, or on the date to which the case may be postponed, the Deputy Commissioner considers the objections that may be submitted, and after further enquiry, if any.

  • If it appears to him that succession accompanied by possession has taken place, or that charge of the estate has been assumed or possession was taken, the Deputy Commissioner passes the order directing registration of the applicant's name to the extent of his interest.

  • For obtaining registration it is necessary to show that the applicant has prima facie title and that he obtained possession of the estate.

The Deputy Commissioner is also empowered to grant registration even though he may not have received any such application.
The Deputy Commissioner can proceed to effect registration if he has received other information about the succession and possession or assumption of charge of an estate.

In that case, the Deputy Commissioner can proceed in either of the following ways:

  1. He may cause notices to be published inviting objections if any, and hold the necessary enquiry in the same manner as when an application for registration is before him, or

  2. He may get the information verified by local enquiry made by an officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Settlement Officer.

The registration or mutation granted after such local investigation can be reopened by an application to the Deputy Commissioner made within three years of the order for setting aside the order.


On receiving such an application the Deputy Commissioner will cancel the registration and proceed to hold the enquiry after publishing the required notice as if an application for registration has been received.

After registration is granted, the general register is corrected and necessary entries made in terms of the order.


Registration when possession is disputed as per Section 54:


Mutation under Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886

In a registration proceeding, the Deputy Commissioner has to satisfy himself as to whether succession accompanied by possession has taken place.


To obtain mutation the applicant has to show that he has prima facie title and that he obtained possession of the estate. Taking possession of an estate is a prerequisite for granting registration or mutation.


The fact of possession has to be ascertained by the Deputy Commissioner before passing the order directing registration of name Where, however, possession is disputed and the Deputy Commissioner is unable to satisfy himself as to who owns the estate, he is to decide by a summary enquiry as to the party who is best entitled to possession and accordingly puts him in possession, and orders for registration of his name in the proper register.

Penalty for non-registration under Section 58:

Penalty of Non-Registration under Assam Land Revenue Regulation, 1886

A person succeeding to an estate and obtaining possession thereof, and also a manager assuming charge of an estate, and a mortgagee in possession are required to apply for registration of their names within six months of taking possession of the estate.


If such a person voluntarily or negligently omits to apply for registration within the specified time of six months, he will be liable to a fine not exceeding five times the fee payable for registration.


  • The Deputy Commissioner may also issue a notice requiring the person to apply for registration within a date fixed in the notice.

  • If the person fails to apply for registration as required by the notice, the Deputy Commissioner may impose an additional fine not exceeding one rupee for each day of default from the expiry of the date in the notice.

Other consequences also follow non-registration.

A person is not entitled to claim any interest in the land against the Government as proprietor, or landholder, or mortgagee in possession, so long as he omits to apply for registration, but his liability to pay the revenue and other obligations to the Government will remain.


Further, before a person can have a legal claim to the rents, he must get his name registered as the proprietor, landholder, manager or mortgagee in possession, as the case may be, and until his name is so recorded the tenants are not bound to pay rent to him.


Mutation and its effects under Section 62:


Mutation of name is granted based on a prima facie title to and possession of the estate. In a mutation proceeding the Deputy Commissioner has to determine the party who owns the land.

When it is not possible to determine actual possession, he has to ascertain by a summary enquiry as to the party who is best entitled to possession, and accordingly to put him in possession of the estate and make the necessary entry in the proper register.


A mutation entry in the record-of-rights implies (under Section 41 (1) read with Section 53) a presumption of possession in favour of the recorded proprietor or land-holder unless rebutted.
Proceedings for mutation of names are NOT judicial proceedings in which title to and proprietary rights in immovable property can be determined.
Revenue authorities have no jurisdiction to pronounce upon the validity of claims of the title so that orders in mutation proceedings cannot be treated as conclusive evidence of proprietary title.

Such an entry may, prima facie, be good evidence of possession and even of the right to hold the land, but in law, it is not conclusive. A person is entitled to bring a suit in the Civil Court for possession of, and declaration of his right and title to any immovable property.


Rule 116 framed under Chapter IV gives power to the Deputy Commissioner to strike out the name of the proprietor or settlement holder from General Register if he is no longer in possession of any such interest in the estate.


Such order to strike out the name of any recorded proprietor or land-holder can only be passed after giving him due to notice and hearing any objections that may be preferred against his name being struck out.


CONCLUSION


Besides the above-mentioned provisions under Registration, it also provides for the safeguard, as per which within 3 years of Chitha Registration under Section 53-A, upon any objections by an aggrieved party to the Circle Officer, such illegal or wrongful registration can be cancelled, if the claims of the aggrieved party are justified.


The provisions of Mutation under the Regulation were meant to ease the process of any such transfer of inheritance or ownership, that could be conducted in a summary without legal complexities or wasting a huge amount of time.

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