From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Right to Property
Mains level : Read the attached story
The right to property is a human right, the Supreme Court has recently ruled.
What did the court say?
- A citizen’s right to own private property is a human right. The state cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law, the Supreme Court has held in a recent judgment.
- The state cannot trespass into the private property of a citizen and then claim ownership of the land in the name of ‘adverse possession’.
- Grabbing private land and then claiming it as its own makes the state an encroacher.
- Article 300A required the state to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property, the Supreme Court reminded the government.
- A welfare state cannot be permitted to take the plea of adverse possession, which allows a trespasser i.e. a person guilty of a tort, or even a crime, to gain legal title over such property for over 12 years.
- The State cannot be permitted to perfect its title over the land by invoking the doctrine of adverse possession to grab the property of its own citizens.
Right to Property
- The Constitution of India originally provided for the right to property under Articles 19 and 31.
- Article 19 guaranteed to all citizens the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property.
- Article 31 provided that “no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.” It also provided that compensation would be paid to a person whose property has been taken for public purposes.
- The 44th Amendment of 1978 removed the right to property from the list of fundamental rights.
- A new provision, Article 300-A, was added to the constitution, which provided that “no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”.
What if one is deprived of his/her properties?
- Thus, if a legislator makes a law depriving a person of his property, there would be no obligation on the part of the state to pay anything as compensation.
- The aggrieved person shall have no right to move the court under Article 32.
- Thus, the right to property is no longer a fundamental right, though it is still a constitutional right. If the government appears to have acted unfairly, the action can be challenged in a court of law by aggrieved citizens.