Jun 22, 2023

Learn About Right to Property for home-buyers

by Godrej Properties Limited



The right to property in India was initially a fundamental right until challenges arose in acquiring immovable properties for the public interest. As a result, it was abolished in 1978 but continued to be recognised as a human right. Initially, the Constitution provided Indian citizens with complete rights to acquire, dispose of, and possess family properties. The change in legal status occurred through the 44th Amendment to the Constitution to balance individual property rights with public welfare considerations.

Definition of "Property”

Property refers to any asset or possession to which an individual has legal rights. It can encompass both tangible items like furniture, cars, and homes, as well as intangible assets such as stocks and patents.

Right to Property

The right to own property was initially a fundamental right in India. However, with the introduction of Article 300-A in 1978 it changed to a human right.

Under the right to property Article 300-A of the Indian Constitution, no authority except the government can deprive an individual of their right to own immovable property. However, the government can exercise its power to acquire private properties for valid reasons which are also in the public’s interest such as developing infrastructure or amenities. In such cases, the government must provide fair compensation to the property owners.

Right to Property 

The Right to property ensures that individuals have the freedom to own, use, and transfer their lawful possessions. However, under specific circumstances, the property can be taken in the public interest or as the law prescribes, in return for fair compensation. This also extends protection to intellectual property rights and is called the IPR Act.

Article 31- Right to Property

Article 31 addresses property ownership rights and is notable for its provisions on compulsory property acquisition. It ensures that no power can prohibit an Indian citizen from owning property, with certain exceptions under the authority of law. If a person's property is acquired for public purposes, they are entitled to receive compensation from the Indian Government.

Supreme Court's Stance on Property Rights

According to the Supreme Court of India, authorities cannot seize property without following due process and law. The court emphasized that the State cannot encroach on a citizen's private possession and claim ownership. In the case of Vidya Devi vs The State of Himachal Pradesh, the court ruled that the welfare of the State cannot justify adverse possession, preventing trespassers from gaining legal title to a property for over 12 years.

Although the Supreme Court does not endorse trespassing for a public interest, it recognizes the government's right to acquire private properties with proper justification.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main objectives of the IPR Act?

Answer: Promote innovation, protect rights, encourage economic growth, and safeguard public interests.

2. What is the main objective of Article 300-A in the Indian Constitution?

Answer: This article grants the government authority to acquire land and private property for public welfare.

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