Read Judgment: Jitendra Singh vs. The State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, September 9, 2021:The Supreme Court has recently held that mutation entry does not confer any right, title or interest in favour of the person and the mutation entry in the revenue record is only for the fiscal purpose.

As per the settled proposition of law, if there is any dispute with respect to the title and more particularly when the mutation entry is sought to be made on the basis of the will, the party who is claiming title/right on the basis of the will has to approach the appropriate civil court/court and get his rights crystalized and only thereafter on the basis of the decision before the civil court necessary mutation entry can be made, added the Court.

The Division Bench of Justice M.R Shah and Justice Aniruddha Bose observed that the High Court has not committed any error in setting aside the order passed by the revenue authorities directing to mutate the name of the petitioner in the revenue records on the basis of the alleged will.

The High Court had also not erred in relegating the petitioner to approach the appropriate court to crystalize his rights on the basis of the alleged will, added the Bench.

The observation came pursuant to a Special Leave Petition challenging judgment of the High Court, whereby it had quashed the order passed by the Additional Commissioner, Rewa, directing to mutate the name of the petitioner in the revenue records, which was sought to be mutated on the basis of the Will.

The facts of the case was that the petitioner has filed an application u/s 109/110 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code to mutate his name in the revenue records in respect of land situated in District Satna, on the basis of the alleged Will executed by one Ananti Bai (widow of Bhagwandeen Bargahi), who was his maternal grandmother.

Although the application for mutation was filed even prior to the death of Ananti Bai, the Nayab Tehsildar, District Satna directed to mutate the name of the petitioner in the revenue records in respect of the said lands solely on the basis of the alleged will.

Accordingly, legal heirs and daughters of Ananti Bai preferred appeal before the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), who set aside the order passed by the Nayab Tehsildar. Aggrieved, the petitioner approached Additional Commissioner, Rewa, who quashed the order passed by the SDO.

This was again reversed by the High Court observing that once the will is disputed and even otherwise the petitioner who is claiming rights/title on the basis of the will executed by the deceased Ananti Bai, the remedy available to the petitioner would be to file a suit and crystalise his rights and only thereafter the necessary consequence shall follow.

The Apex Court quoted the decision in case of Suraj Bhan vs. Financial Commissioner, wherein it was observed that an entry in revenue records does not confer title on a person whose name appears in record-of-rights.

Entries in the revenue records or jamabandi have only “fiscal purpose”, i.e., payment of land revenue, and no ownership is conferred on the basis of such entries, added the Court.

The Top Court also noted that in case of Balwant Singh v. Daulat Singh (D) By Lrs, it was held that mutation of property in revenue records neither creates nor extinguishes title to the property nor has it any presumptive value on title.

Opining that so far as the title of the property is concerned, it can only be decided by a competent Civil Court, the Apex Court concurred with the view taken by the High Court.

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