The revenue department has issued a notification to grant powers of the mamlatdar to the sub-registrar and registration officers in the state so that mutation records can be updated simultaneously while property transactions are registered or when there is a change in the ownership of a particular plot of land.
“The government of Goa hereby appoints the registering officer, as appointed under Section 6 of the Registration Act, as a mamlatdar exclusively for the purpose of disposal of mutation cases under the Goa Land Revenue (Records of Rights and Registrar of Cultivators) Rules, where the right to any land has been acquired through a document registered before him,” said under-secretary of revenue, Sudin Natu, in a notification.
Mamlatdars in the collector’s office have been overburdened with cases and hearings under various issues, and there is a huge delay in granting of mutation certificates in Goa. The lengthy process for mutation certificates also paves the way for rampant corruption as desperate landowners are made to repeatedly run from pillar to post to get the vital document. A mutation certificate is a revenue document which reflects the transfer of land ownership, and it becomes essential for deciding the tax liability when the property ownership gets changed.
In September 2016, the state government had introduced an amendment to the Goa, Daman and Diu Land Revenue Rules, empowering the sub-registrar to collect fees from the property owner and refer the sale deed to the mamlatdar’s office within a period of three days.
The amendment had been introduced for simplification of the mutation procedure, but the ground reality did not change. Given the lengthy process and demand for bribes, many people after acquiring land refrained from going for the mutation process and thus the names of previous owners continued to reflect in the government records.