The process of Land Mutation in Bangladesh
Mutation is a very important and essential process in establishing ownership over any land or immovable asset according to the laws of Bangladesh. When a person or company acquires ownership of immovable property, i.e. land by way of purchase, gift, exchange or any other way, they must complete the mutation process.
With this process, the current owner's name is recorded in the Khatian or porcha, who has become the owner by way of registered transfer or inheritance by way of kabala/sell, gift, exchange, will, waqf, inheritance or by the Govt.
Mutation is essential to establish the proprietary rights over the land for the purpose of payment of rent in the name of the current owner to avoid any future complicacy in terms of peaceful possession and enjoyment of that land.
The process of mutation
Assistant Commissioner (AC) (Land) is the authority where an owner of land can apply to mutate his/her name in the government record. If a property is a leasehold, still the mutation with (AC) (Land) is required for updating record maintained at that government agency along with the mutation permission from RAJUK, National Housing Authority, Ministry of Housing and Public Works etc.
To mutate a piece of land, the owner or his nominated representative can apply to the AC (Land) in a government's prescribed form and fees prescribed by the Government along with the required documents. In the application form, the applicant must clearly mention the full name and address of the applicant and the transferor, schedule of the land with boundary, size, nature and, registered deed number and date of such registration.
Moreover, the applicant shall submit the copy of the title deed, bia deed, copy of all the Khatians (C.S., S.A., R.S., Dhaka City Jorip Khatian if the land is located to Dhaka or B.S. Khatian if the land is located outside Dhaka, receipt of payment of land development tax, City Corporation tax payment receipt if applicable, copy of the order obtained from competent court (if any), relevant permissions from the Lessor in case of leasehold property, passport size photograph of the applicant etc. with the application. Theoretically, it takes 60 days to complete the whole process of mutation in a metropolitan area and 45 days for any other area. However, practically it may take some more time. If any person is aggrieved with the decision of the mutation case, he can file an appeal to the collector and the appeal can go to the Commissioner of the Division.
Laws on Mutation
The Parliament has amended the Registration Act- 1908 and the Transfer of Property Act- 1882 in 2004 with effect from July 1, 2005. As per the Registration Act Section 52A, Registering Officer cannot register a transfer, unless certain particulars are included in an instrument of transfer. These include the latest khatian of the property in the name of the seller, if he is owner of the property otherwise than by inheritance and the latest Khatian of the property prepared under the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950, in the name of the seller or his predecessor, if he is owner of the property by inheritance.
Section 53C of the Transfer of Property Act states that no immovable property shall be sold by a person unless his name, if he is the owner of the property otherwise than by inheritance, or his name or the name of his predecessor, if he is the owner of the property by inheritance, appears in respect of the property in the latest khatian prepared under the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950, and any sale made otherwise shall be void.
Barrister Miti Sanjana is a Partner at Legal Counsel