Can a person claim ownership on the basis of mutation

Question asked on: 27/01/2019

Father purchased a plot out of his own income but the plot was registered in the name of my mother. The said plot is muted in my mother’s name, therefore, my mother claims that she is the absolute owner of the plot. I have one brother and one sister all are married I have a very strange relationship with my mother.

Because of the strange relationship my mother does not like me. Last year my mother made a Will and transfer the said plot to my sister. At this point of time can I move any legal proceeding for cancellation of such transfer?

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

You can move a civil suit for cancellation of such transfer because your mother is not the absolute owner of the property. It is Undisputed fact that your father purchased the said plot out of his own income. Therefore it is the self-acquired property of your father. You have not mentioned whether your father is alive or dead. If your father is alive then your mother cannot transfer the said property by any mode.

If your father has died

Your father was the absolute owner of the property however, the said property is registered in your mother’s name. Your mother had no source of income at the time when your father purchased the property, therefore, she cannot claim ownership only on the basis of mutation or registration in her name.

The law is settled that mutation does not confer any right or title in the property. The mutation effected in the revenue record only for the purpose to prove possession over the property. The mutation itself does not prove ownership. Thus it is evident from the above provision that your mother is not an absolute owner of the property.

Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act

If a Hindu woman acquired a property from of the modes given below, the above section confers ownership over it. A property is said to be acquired by a woman if she received the property

  • By a deed of transfer
  • From a compromise decree
  • Decree in invetium
  • Transfer by instrument

In your case, the said property is never transferred by your father. Moreover, your father did not execute any gift deed in your mother’s favour. It is mutated in your mother name and mutation does not recognised as a deed of transfer of property.

In Eramma v. Veerupana AIR 1966 SC 1879; the Supreme Court has held that mere mutation or handing over of the property by the husband to the wife does not amount to her having acquired the property.

For the acquisition of property there must be something to prove that right to the property is transferred from the owner to another person. The intention behind transferof property decides the transfer of ownership.

In your case, ownership had not been transferred to your mother hence, she did not acquire the property under section 14. Therefore, she had no right to transfer the said property. The said property has vested in the legal heir of your father.

In Balwant Singh vs Daulat Singh AIR 1997 SC 2719 the Supreme Court has held that mere possession of property by a Hindu woman (widow) does not make her a full owner of the said property under section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act.

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Shivendra Pratap Singh

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