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Mahadeo and Ors. vs. Sovan Devi and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (30 Aug 2022)

Inter-departmental communications cannot be relied upon as a basis to claim any right



The challenge in the present appeal is to a judgment passed by the High Court whereby the order passed by the learned Single Judge was upheld. The writ petitioner filed a Writ Petition raising a grievance that the possession of the land allotted on 19th March, 1971 has not been handed over to her husband or to her.

The learned Single Judge found that the alternative land offered to the writ petitioner is located at a very remote/far off area and is not cultivable and therefore, a direction was issued to give possession of the land originally allotted to the writ petitioner. Since the order was passed by the High Court allotting land to the writ petitioner, the Appellants approached present Court for challenging the order passed by the High Court.

The High Court had gone out of the way to order possession of land which was never proceeded with letter of allotment in favour of the writ Petitioner. The approach of the High Court is most unfortunate. It is well settled that, inter-departmental communications are in the process of consideration for appropriate decision and cannot be relied upon as a basis to claim any right.

The basis of the claim of the writ petitioner is a letter written by the Secretary of the Soldier Welfare Department to the District Collector, on 19th March, 1971 for allotment of land. The Rules contemplate that if the possession is not taken within 6 months, the allotment shall be deemed to have been cancelled. Firstly, the inter-departmental communication dated 19th March, 1971 cannot be treated to be a letter of allotment. Alternatively, even if it is considered to be a letter of allotment, the writ petitioner could not claim possession on the basis of such communication after more than 30 years in terms of the Rules applicable for allotment of land to the disabled ex-servicemen.

The disabled ex-serviceman had not taken any action for almost 27 years after the so-called letter of allotment during his life time. It appears that the writ petitioner was appointed at the office of Director General of NCC and thereafter, the process of possession was initiated by her. Still further, the alternative land was allotted to the writ petitioner on the strength of the interim orders passed by the Court from time to time calling upon the officers of the State in Court. The proceedings show an extra interest taken by the High Court, and not in respect of mere allotment of land but also of the land which was once allotted and is now close to the National Highway. The manner in which the matter has been dealt with by the High Court under the guise of help to disabled ex-serviceman is wholly unwarranted. The order passed by the High Court is set aside. Appeal allowed.


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