Land Reforms

Supreme Court lays out 7 Sub-Rights of Right to Property


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Article 300A, 44th Constitutional Amendment, Right to Property

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

The Supreme Court’s ruling safeguards landowners from arbitrary government acquisition, emphasizing adherence to Article 300A, ensuring the constitutional right to property and sub-rights compliance.

Procedural Sub-Rights under Right to Property

These seven rights are foundational components of a law that is in tune with Article 300A, and the absence of one of these or some of them would render the law susceptible to challenge:

  1. Right to Notice: Individuals must be informed about the intention to acquire their property.
  2. Right to Be Heard: Affected individuals have the right to voice objections.
  3. Right to a Reasoned Decision: The government must justify the acquisition with a reasoned decision.
  4. Public Purpose Justification: Acquisitions must serve a demonstrable public purpose.
  5. Right of Restitution or Fair Compensation: Landowners are entitled to fair compensation for their property.
  6. Right to An Efficient and Expeditious Process: Acquisition procedures should be efficient and adhere to set timelines.
  7. Right of Conclusion: The process concludes with the physical transfer of property; failure to take possession renders the acquisition incomplete.

Back2Basics: Right to Property in India

  • The Right to Property was initially a fundamental right under the Constitution of India, included in Part III (Articles 19 and 31).
  • Through the 44th Amendment Act of 1978, this right was removed from the list of fundamental rights. It was reclassified as a constitutional right under Article 300A.

About Article 300A:

  • Article 300A was introduced to the Constitution, stating that “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.”
  • Legal Framework: This implies that the government can still acquire private property, but this acquisition must be done through a law that justifies the acquisition and provides for fair compensation to the affected parties.

Current Legal Status

  • Not a Fundamental Right: The Right to Property is no longer a fundamental right, which means it cannot be directly enforced through the Supreme Court or High Court under Article 32 or Article 226. However, it remains a constitutional right.
  • Protection under Law: Any person deprived of his property under any state enactment can approach a High Court challenging the legality of the act under Article 300A.
  • Legal Recourse: Affected individuals have the right to legal recourse if they believe that the acquisition was not justified or that the compensation was inadequate.

Recent Judgment: Human Rights 

  • Case Background: The judgment supported a Calcutta High Court decision that dismissed an appeal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation regarding the acquisition of private land.
  • Court’s Order: The Corporation was ordered to compensate with ₹5 lakh for costs within 60 days.
  • Human Rights Perspective: The right to property is not only protected as a constitutional right but has also been recognized as a human right by a “Bench of Justices P.S. Narasimha and Aravind Kumar”.

Legal Interpretations and Clarifications

  • Justice Narasimha clarified that the phrase ‘authority of law’ in Article 300A extends beyond the state’s power of eminent domain.
  • It necessitates a proper legal framework for property acquisition.
  • The ruling underscored that mere possession of eminent domain power and the provision of compensation do not justify compulsory acquisition if due processes are not followed.


[2021] What is the position of the Right to Property in India?​

(a) Legal right available to citizens only

(b) Legal right available to any person

(c) Fundamental Right available to citizens only

(d) Neither Fundamental Right nor legal right

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch