What is The Right to Property Article? Know Your Fundamental Rights

December 26, 2023 in Property Guide

What is The Right to Property Article? Know Your Fundamental Rights

Until a few years back, the right to property was a fundamental right for the citizens. However, the Government started facing issues while acquiring public properties for the public interest. As a result, it was abolished in 1978 as a fundamental right but continued to be a legal right.

The parliament has introduced the Right to Property Act, which allows users the right to acquire, dispose and hold family properties. However, the government can enable reasonable regulations on these properties. Implementing the Right to Property Act is aimed at preventing the exploitation of properties.

As a citizen of India, you should know your fundamental rights, especially regarding property. This blog will guide you about the Right to Property in India and what are the fundamental rights that you hold as a citizen. First, let's take a look at what is right to property.

What is the Right to Property Article?

The Right to Property Article was a fundamental right where citizens had complete control over immovable properties. Nonetheless, the introduction of Article 300A in the Constitution ceased the Right to Property as a fundamental right, but it continued as a legal right.

According to The Right to Property Act of Article 300-A, no one holds any authority to deprive any person of their immovable property apart from the state or Government. Even if the Government has the right to acquire such immovable properties, they should provide a valid reason for acquisition. For example, the Government can acquire the private property of a citizen to develop civic amenities only if they provide compensation to the respective citizen.

Significance of The Right to Property as Fundamental Right

Some of the major benefits of the Right to Property Act as a fundamental right include:

  • Economic Growth

    : Property has a significant role to play, especially in development, providing numerous opportunities to generate wealth. Such a right would give the benefit of economic growth.
  • Social Stability

    : Establishing a property right also plays an important role in providing social stability. When citizens are assured about their ownership over the property, they will not indulge in violent activities. This, in turn, will create a harmonious environment.
  • Individual Freedom

    : Property rights are often associated with personal freedom. It provides citizens with autonomy, ensuring that they can pursue their interests easily. Moreover, these property rights also play an important role in offering a sense of security regarding the property and creating more wealth.

Evolution of Right to Property in India

Article 19(I) and Article 31 of the Constitution of India entrenched The Right to Property Act as a fundamental right. However, before that, the residents had the right to purchase, keep and dispose of their properties according to Article 19(I). On the other hand, Article 31 safeguards and protects the rights of individuals from being deprived of their properties.

Later, the Defence of India Act provided the Government the authority to acquire movable property of citizens for public interest. It caused an uproar amongst the citizens. Eventually, the Government started facing challenges with the Right to Property being a fundamental right of citizens. Thus, fewer modifications were made concerning the Right to Property as a fundamental right to uphold the benefits and ensure their protection.

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Right to Property: Article 31

According to Article 31, no authority can prevent the ability of the citizen to possess property. This rule of law, however, has certain exceptions. Article 31 further has three subclauses: 31A, 31B and 31C. However, these changed with the 44th Amendment Act.

The 44th Amendment Act and The Right to Property Amendment

The Constitution of India implemented changes with the 44th Amendment Act in 1978. The 44th Amendment Act was introduced to undo the changes caused due to the enactment of the 42nd Amendment Act. The Indira-Gandhi-led Congress passed the 42nd Amendment Act during the Emergency, which had several alterations. These were eventually rectified with the enactment of the 44th Amendment Act.

Some of the major changes brought in the Right to Property Act with the enactment of the 44th Amendment Act include:

  • The 44th Amendment Act scrapped the Right to Property as a fundamental right.
  • With the help of the 44th Amendment Act, Article 31 and Article 19(1)(f) were removed from Part III- Fundamental Rights of the Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court also ruled that the State Government should follow proper procedures. They must adhere to legal guidelines before removing someone from their property. All these procedures should be made and exercised according to the rules mentioned in Article 300-A.

Why was the right to property removed as the fundamental right?

The Right to Property was removed as a fundamental right for the following reasons:

  • Cater to the public interests in a better manner.
  • Develop public facilities for the citizens.
  • Reasons associated with socialism and economic distribution.
  • Public necessity is often stronger than private necessity.

It is important to be familiar with how the Right to Property Act works so that you can also know about your rights. Thus, a closer look at the example of the Right to Property can be useful.

Example of Right to Property

The Right to Property Act provides the owner complete control over their properties. Therefore, individuals have the exclusive right to make decisions related to their property. One of the prime examples of Right to Property is bringing changes to the property. For example, if you own a property and wish to remodel it from scratch, you can easily do so. As per the Right of Property, the legal owners of property can also give their property to people they want to. If the Government wants a property for public use, they should provide compensation.

Supreme Court on Right to Property

The Supreme Court states that if any authority wants to possess a property, they may do so within the legal boundaries. The court further added that no authority can trespass on the citizen's personal property. Moreover, they cannot claim ownership.

As the definition and rules of the Right to Property in India have changed since 1978, it is important to know the latest modifications. The Supreme Court of India does not support trespassing on the individual's property. No authority should infringe on the property for the public interest.

Some of the few verdicts of the Supreme Court in regard to Right to Property in India include…

"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 citizens." Case of Vidya Devi versus the State of Himachal Pradesh.

"The right to property may not be a fundamental right any longer but it is still a constitutional right under Article 300-A and a human right as observed by this court in Vimlaben Ajitbhai Patel vs. Vatslaben Ashokbhai Patel and others. Given the mandate of Article 300-A of the Constitution of India, no person is to be deprived of his property save by the authority of law." Hari Krishna Mandir Trust versus State of Maharashtra on August 7, 2020.

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How is the Right to Property Different Now?

As suggested above, the Right to Property was a fundamental right, which was later changed to a legal right. The fundamental rights are granted to the citizen by the Constitution of India. To alter them is difficult for the government. On the contrary, your Right to Property is a legal right. It can be amended by the Parliament as and if required.

Conclusion

As a citizen of India, you may enjoy the Right to Property in India as a legal right. Notable is the fact that intellectual property rights and property rights sound the same, but they are quite different. You should also get an introduction to Intellectual Property Rights.

If you are planning to own a residential property in Pune, make sure to know your rights. Adani Realty provides flats in Koregaon Park, Pune, for affordable rights. Once you purchase these properties, you can enjoy your Right to Property and prevent trespassing.

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