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Land Mutation Laws of Bangladesh

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07th-Jan-2017       
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Barrister Miti Sanjana :
Mutation is a very important process to establish ownership over any land in Bangladesh. When a person acquires ownership of an immovable property, i.e. land by purchase, gift, exchange or any other way, he needs to complete the mutation process as prescribed by law.  It is not possible to transfera piece of land if the present owner's name is not on the latest Khatian (Record of Rights). Mutation is done by updating the record through inserting the name of present owner instead of the former owner. As per the law of the land without mutation a land will not be transferable. Mutation is a process by which the current owner's name is recorded in the Khatian, 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.
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 53Cof the Transfer of Property Act states that no immoveable 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.
Assistant Commissioner (AC) (Land) is the authority where an owner of a land can apply to mutate his/her name in the government record. If a property is leasehold, still the mutation with (AC) (Land) is required to update record maintained at that government agency along with the mutation permission from e.g. 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 alongwith 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 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 metropolitan area and 45 days for any other area. But practically it may take some more time.
If any person is not 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. Mutation is essential to create 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 writer is an Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh and an activist.)

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