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FORCIBLE DISPOSSESSION OF A PERSON’S PROPERTY IS A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION

Focus: GS-II Governance, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has reiterated that forcible dispossession of a person of his private property without due process of law is a human right violation.
  • In a recent judgment by a Bench led by Justice S.K. Kaul, the court stressed, quoting from its judgments, that right to property is both a human right and a constitutional right — the latter under Article 300A of the Constitution.
  • The verdict came on the acquisition of a few acres in Sikkim by the State’s Agriculture department in 1980 for building the Progeny Orchard Regional Centre.

Highlights of the Judgement

  • The appellant could not have been forcibly dispossessed of her property without any legal sanction, and without following due process of law, and depriving her payment of just compensation.
  • It is accepted in every jurisprudence and by different political thinkers that some amount of property right is an indispensable safeguard against tyranny and economic oppression of the government.
  • Property itself is the seed bed which must be conserved if other constitutional values are to flourish.

Right to property in the Constitution of India

  • 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”.

Article 300-A

  • Article 300A states that – No person shall be deprived of his property save by the authority of law.
  • Therefore, the article protects an individual from interference by the State and dispossess a person of the property unless it is in accordance with the procedure established by law.



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November 2022
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