Telangana

Beware, your property may have been mutated!

Property tax payment has been a routine affair for N. Rama Murthy, a property owner from Malkajgiri Circle of GHMC, for the past 20 years since he owned a house.

This year, he was in for a shock, when he tried to pay the dues. To his bewilderment, he realised that his property is not in his name any more in GHMC records. It has been mutated to a stranger, about whose existence he had no knowledge at all. He has neither sold nor transferred his property in anybody’s name so far.

“When we enquired with the GHMC circle level officials, they said they changed the details in the records upon receiving the mutation certificate from the registration department. We were directed to approach the sub-registrar for rectification,” said N. Sreedhar, Mr. Rama Murthy’s son.

Upon verification, it has come to light that Mr. Rama Murthy’s PTIN has been erroneously mentioned as the vendor N. Venkata Ramana Murthy’s, in the registration documents, leading to the blunder.

“The building plan shown in the registration document was not ours, the building was not ours, and name of the vendor was different, but somehow, the property tax mutation has been done without verification of any of these things. For no fault of ours, I have been doing rounds of GHMC circle office and the SRO,” Mr. Sreedhar fumes.

This is not the predicament of Mr. Rama Murthy or Mr. Sreedhar alone. There are scores of such cases across the circles, wherein properties have been mutated without knowledge of the property owners, be it through omission or commission.

Post the recent municipal reforms, assessment and mutation of properties for the tax purpose has been transferred from GHMC to the Registrations department. While the reforms were well intended in order to reduce manual intervention in the assessments, it is leading to several issues with regard to ownership.

“We have been staying for years in the house my grandfather purchased way back in 1955. In 2018, I paid all the pending tax dues through one-time settlement. This year, to my dismay, the municipal records show a different name as the owner for the same PTIN,” says Venkatesh, another property owner from Goshamahal circle.

Officials attribute such errors to the document writers outside the SRO who do not exercise due diligence while checking the property details. Sometimes, the intentions could be malafide too.

“In GHMC website, PTIN can be found merely by keying in the door number. Some times, we are getting three or four mutation requests with the same PTIN number,” says an Assistant Municipal Commissioner under the condition of anonymity.

He says he has encountered three such cases — one involving the property of an octogenarian — wherein the existing PTINs have been mutated without knowledge of the owner.

Officials from the Registration department admit that there have been instances of such blunders, and say that the owners need to approach the District Registration Office via the sub-registrar for resolution of such issues.


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Printable version | Jun 3, 2022 2:47:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/beware-your-property-may-have-been-mutated/article65488075.ece