What is Right to Property in India?

Kishan Thakkar K

Overview 

‘Property’ refers to a thing owned and is derived from the Latin word ‘propertietat’ and its French equivalent ‘proprious’.

The Supreme Court ruled recently that citizens’ right to private property is a human right. The case involved an 80-year-old woman whose 3.34 hectare property was taken by the Himachal Pradesh authorities for road construction in 1967.

The main purpose of writing this blog is to help readers understand why the Right to Property was changed from a fundamental right to a constitutional right.

Also read: Fundamental Rights and Constitutional Rights of Indian Citizens (Legodesk)

Right to Property as a fundamental right

Since the Constitution of India came into force in the 1950s, the right to property was given fundamental status. Basically, two articles Art. 31 and Art. 19(1)(f) ensures that any person’s right against his property remains protected.

In the 1950s, the Indian Constitution established the right to property as a fundamental right. Basically, both art. 31 and art. 19(1)(f) ensure that anyone’s claim on their property is protected.

  • Art. 31 clause (1) reads as No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law. It gives protection to persons against the government or State’s arbitrary action to seize private property for public use and private use. That means a person has right to move to SC in case of violation of this right. 
  • Article 19(1)(f) provides the freedom to citizens to acquire, hold, and dispose of the property within the territory of India.
  • But by the Constitutional 44th Amendment act 1978, these two above mentioned articles were deleted and a new chapter IV was added in Part XII, containing only one article 300A.

In 1967, when the government forcibly took over the land, Right to Property was still a fundamental right under Article 31 of the Constitution. This changed with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978.

A person’s private property was made a Constitutional right under Article 300A, which requires the state to follow due procedure and authority to deprive him or her of it.

Source: Right to Property and its Evolution in India

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