Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will do the mutation of a property even if the owner cannot produce a completion certificate for the building, mayor Firhad Hakim had announced a few days ago.
The Telegraph spoke to several KMC officials to find out what this means.
What is the new decision?
Property owners in the Kolkata municipal area will be able to do the mutation of their property by giving a self-declaration mentioning that they have been living at the address but do not have the property in their name. Such situations usually arise when an occupier or owner does not possess the completion certificate.
Earlier, the KMC used to do the mutation if someone could produce an electricity bill, but now that requirement has been waived.
Can owners of both old and new properties avail of this?
Yes. For old properties, a senior KMC official said: “If someone has been living there for several years, we would still do the mutation.” The person will have to clear tax dues in this case.
Does this mean an occupier can mutate a property in his or her name and claim to be the original owner?
No. The Supreme Court and the Calcutta High Court have said that the presence of someone’s name in the KMC’s assessment records is no proof of ownership, the official said. “It is merely the name of the person occupying the property and paying the tax.”
What if the actual owner challenges the mutation later?
KMC will ask the challenger to provide documents to substantiate the claims. “If our inquiry finds that the challenger is the actual owner, we will cancel the old mutation and issue a new mutation certificate in the actual owner’s name,” said the official.
Submitting the application
There are eight offices of the KMC’s assessment department in the city. The application can be submitted in any of these offices. It can also be submitted online. Attach the self-declaration with the online application, said a KMC official.
How long will it take?
A week if all other documents like self-assessment form and identity documents are ready.
Does it make an unauthorised construction legal?
No. In case there is a complaint against the property and the KMC’s building department declares the structure illegal and demolishes it, the assessment collection department will stop collecting tax from the person.
“We will be collecting the tax only as a charge for the services being given while it is occupied,” said a senior official.