Case: – P. Kishore Kumar v/s Vittal K. Patkar., Civil Appeal No. 7210 of 2011
This recent Supreme Court judgment has reiterated an important principle of law that the revenue records do not confer title.
The case involved a disputed land in Navarathna Agrahara, Hobli, Devanhalli Taluk, Bangalore, and the Mysore (Personal & Miscellaneous) Inam Abolition Act, 1954. The Respondent (original Plaintiff) had filed a suit for declaration of title and permanent injunction against the defendant, claiming that he had better title to the land. The Trial Court had initially ruled in favour of the Respondent, but the first appellate court overturned the decision, citing the absence of any Inam grant in favour of the Respondent’s vendor. The case then went to the Karnataka High Court, wherein the court restored the decree passed by the Trial Court, effectively ruling in favour of the Respondent.
The Apex Court therefore held that in a title suit, the Respondent cannot succeed by merely pointing out lacunae in the Plaintiff’s title. The Hon’ble Court held that the mutation in revenue records neither creates nor extinguishes title, nor does it have any presumptive value on title. All it does is entitle the person in whose favour mutation is done to pay the land revenue in question.
The Apex Court also noted that the burden of proof rested on the Respondent to reasonably establish the probability of better title, which in this case, the Respondent had failed to prove since he did not produce a single document of title in respect of the suit property.

Author of this article:
Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate

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