HC summons senior Govt officials for malpractices in mutations

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, July 17: The High Court today issued summons to Commissioner/ Secretary Revenue Department and several other top officials of the Government for alleged malpractice by Revenue officials in mutating the property with any valid documents.
Hearing a PIL filed by NGO -J&K People’s Forum through its Secretary M M Shuja and counsel Shafakat Nazir seeking direction to State of J & K through Commissioner/ Secretary to Government Revenue Department, Financial Commissioner Revenue J&K, Srinagar and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to place the entire details of mutation in all Pathwar Halqas of the State without any valid registered document, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar issued notice to all concerned for filing of response to the contentions raised in the plea.
The Court issued summons to Commissioner/ Secretary Revenue Department, Secretary to Government, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir as well as Jammu and Director Land Records and Financial Commissioner Revenue J&K to respond to the PIL on next date.
Petitioner organization was aggrieved of various malpractices in vogue in the Revenue Department more particularly about attestation of mutations, maintenance of records and non-adherence of the provisions of law including the transfer of title of immoveable property in violation of Section 138 of J&K Transfer of Property Act, non-compliance of the provisions contained in Land Revenue Act, Non digitization of the revenue record in the State and registration of deeds/ documents by public Notaries not empowered to register the same relating to transfer of immoveable property.
It was further prayed that upon submission of the details of mutation and after judicial scrutiny thereof, any mutation or transfer of title by any mode other than that prescribed by law be declared non valid under the eyes of law.
It has been submitted that Transfer of Property Act forbids transfer of title of any immoveable property if such transfer is not supported by an instrument registered legally by the registering authority prescribed by the Registration Act.
“That on ground most of the Pathwaris, Girdawars and even Naib Tehsildars have created their own separate kingdom in their respective jurisdictions and consider themselves above every law and rule, with the result that not only public at large suffers but also a considerable loss is caused to the state exchequer”, read the PIL.
It has also been noticed that to avoid payment of stamp duty on account of execution of valid instrument of alienation of immovable properties by one person to the other, most of the patwaris have carved out a novel and illegal mechanism by recording and attesting even pre-dated mutation without following the prescribed procedure and the law laid down in Section 138 of J&K Transfer of property Act, the petition mentioned.