It has been held time and again that in mutation application, the municipal corporation or concerned authority should not go into the question of whether valid title exists for the applicant. Mutation of property does not prove ownership or title to the property but it only showcases that the State is collecting revenue for the property from a certain individual.

In Sankalchan Jaychandbhai Patel & Ors. v. Vithalbhai Jaychandbhai Patel & Ors., (1996) 6 SCC 433, it was held (para.7) that it is a settled law that mutation entries are only to enable the state to collect revenues from the persons in possession and enjoyment of the property; that right, title or interest in the property should be established dehors the entries; that the entries are only one of the modes of proof of the enjoyment of the property; and that mutation entries do not create any title or interest therein.

In K.G. Patel & Co. v. Smt. Chandra Devi Bothra & Ors., 1997 (1) CLJ 156, it was held (para.9) that it is a settled principle of law that disputed question of title cannot be gone into in any mutation proceedings.

In Balwant Singh & Anr. v. Daulat Singh & Ors., (1997) 7 SCC 137, it was held (para.27) that mutation entries do not convey or extinguish title to the property.

In Shrenik Kumar Singhee v. the State of West Bengal & Ors., (2006) CalLT 435 (HC), relying on K.G. Patel, it was held (para.33) that the municipal authority cannot adjudicate the question of title raised by the rival claimants. Therefore, the consistent view taken by the courts is that in mutation proceedings the authority dealing with the matter cannot go into the question of title of the parties to the property.

This view has also been recently upheld by the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court in Smt. Shakuntala Devi Dalmia & Anr. v. Howrah Municipal Corporation & Ors. W.P. No. 9660 ( W ) of 2006.

It has been held that in a mutation application, the corporation could not go into the petitioners’ title to the property. Thus, for any mutation application in India, West Bengal or mutation application in Kolkata, Krishnanagar, Kalyani or Bidhannagar, the concerned authority should not question the ownership while dealing with such mutation unless there is absolute lack of evidence to support the claim. Mutation applications are not meant for interpretation of diverse laws to understand the legality of the ownership.

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