Inter-Departmental Communication Cannot be Treated to be Letter of Allotment: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that Inter-Departmental communication cannot be treated to be Letter of Allotment.

Court Observation 

The division bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vikram Nath observed that 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. 

The court said that interdepartmental communications are in the process of consideration for appropriate decision and cannot be relied upon as a basis to claim any right.

The court reiterated that merely writing something on the file does not amount to an order. Before something amounts to an order of the State Government, two things are necessary. First, the order has to be expressed in the name of the Governor as required by clause (1) of Article 166 and second, it has to be communicated.  


Bheru Lal while serving as a Sepoy in the Indian Army suffered an injury on the right leg due to a mine blast in the Indo-Pak war of 1965 which led to the amputation of his right foot. He was thereafter invalidated out of service. 

The State has framed the Rajasthan Special Assistance to Disabled ExServicemen and Dependants of Deceased Defence Personnel (Allotment of Land) Rules, 1963. Bheru Lal applied for allotment of land in the category of disabled war personnel. There is no letter of allotment of land issued to the husband of the writ petitioner or to the writ petitioner on record in pursuance of the communication made to the collector in this behalf. The letter is inter-departmental communication and not a communication to the disabled soldier.


The court observed that no formal order modifying the decision of the Revenue Secretary was ever made. Until such an order is drawn up, the State Government cannot be regarded as bound by what was stated in the file.

The court noted that 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, Udaipur for allotment of land. 

The court further said that 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 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 court added that the disabled ex-serviceman had not taken any action for almost 27 years after the so-called letter of allotment during his life time. 

The court further observed 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 court said that the proceedings show an extra interest taken by the High Court, and not in respect of mere allotment of the 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-servicemen is wholly unwarranted. 

The court found that the writ petition filed by the writ petitioner is wholly misconceived, mischievous with collateral motives and may be having the patronage of the officers/officials.

The court set aside the order passed by the High Court.

Case title: Mahadeo & Ors. v/s Smt. Sovan Devi & Ors.

Citation: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5876 OF 2022  

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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