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Babus` file notings have no legal sanction: SC


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Babus` file notings have no legal sanction: SC


Bureau Report, As reported in ZeeNews


New Delhi, Oct 20: The Supreme Court has ruled that file notings by babus do not confer any vested right on a person and do not have the sanction of law.


"It is trite to state that notings in a departmental file do not have the sanction of law to be an effective order. A noting by an officer is an expression of his viewpoint on the subject," a bench of Justices C K Thakker and D K Jain observed.


According to the apex court, internal notings like file notings are not meant for public circulation.


"It is no more than an opinion by an officer for internal use and consideration of the other officials of the department and for the benefit of the final decision-making authority," the bench said while dismissing appeals filed by two petrol pump owners.


The two petrol pumps M/s Sethi Auto Service Station and M/s Anand Service Station had challenged the refusal of the DDA authorities to allot them land for shifting to an alternative site.


The appellant firms - own two petrol outlets adjacent to each other, located at NH-8, Mahipalpur, New Delhi since 1994.


The contention of the owners was that the construction of an eight-lane express highway between Delhi and Gurgaon, including construction of a flyover/grid separator at Mahipalpur crossing, made the petrol pumps inaccessible.


They had sought compensation by citing the recommendations made in file notings by the technical committee, supporting their claim for alternative site.


But finally the recommendations were rejected by the DDA vice chairman on the grounds that the revised policy did not provide for any such provision. Aggrieved, the owners approached the Delhi High Court which rejected their plea following which they appealed in the apex court.


Upholding the DDA's plea, the apex court observed "Needless to add that internal notings are not meant for outside exposure. Notings in the file culminate into an executable order, affecting the rights of the parties, only when it reaches the final decision-making authority in the department; gets his approval and the final order is communicated to the person concerned," the apex court.


The bench recalled the apex court's earlier ruling in the Bachhittar Singh Vs State of Punjab case where a Constitution Bench considered the effect of an order passed by a Minister on a file but was not communicated to the person concerned.


In that case the apex court ruled that merely because the minister had made certain notings in the file it does not give an inherent right to the person to claim a benefit.


In the instant case, the apex court said that since the revised DDA policy did not provide for giving land to establishments which are not directly affected by a project the owners cannot claim any right to alternative land.


Bureau Report

Zee News - Babus` file notings have no legal sanction: SC

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