What is the Right to Property? – Know Your Fundamental Right!

August 16th, 2023

Right to Property Article? – Know Your Fundamental Right!

The Right to Property in India is an essential constitutional right enshrined under Article 300A of the Indian Constitution. This provision guarantees that no person shall be deprived of their property except by authority of law. It protects movable and immovable properties owned by individuals or corporations from arbitrary or unlawful seizure by the government.

The right to property in India is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 300A of the Indian Constitution. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that this right is not absolute and is subject to certain restrictions imposed by the State. These restrictions aim to strike a delicate balance between private ownership and public welfare.

The government possesses the authority to acquire private land for public purposes, such as infrastructure development or the redistribution of land to promote social justice. Adequate compensation must be provided during acquisition, ensuring property owners are not unjustly deprived of their assets. This ensures a fair approach to property acquisition.

Moreover, the Constitution also allows for reasonable regulations on the use and enjoyment of property. These regulations are put in place to safeguard the interests of society at large. By implementing such measures, the government can prevent any misuse or exploitation of property that may harm the greater good.

In summary, while individuals in India have a constitutionally recognised right to property, it is essential to view this right within the broader framework of public interest and social welfare considerations. This ensures that the balance between private ownership and general welfare is maintained, fostering a just and equitable society.

The Significance of Property Rights as a Fundamental Right

  1. Economic Growth:

    Property rights play a pivotal role in fostering economic development by offering individuals and businesses the essential incentives to invest, innovate, and generate wealth. When individuals possess secure ownership over their assets, they are more inclined to partake in productive activities, as they can fully enjoy the rewards of their endeavours. Consequently, this dynamic stimulates economic growth, job creation, and societal prosperity.

  2. Social Stability:

    Establishing and safeguarding property rights play a crucial role in maintaining social stability. Property rights serve as a powerful deterrent against disputes, conflicts, and the potential for violence by guaranteeing individuals legal ownership of their possessions. When individuals feel confident in their ownership, they are more inclined to engage in peaceful interactions, fostering a harmonious and stable society.

  3. Individual Freedom:

    Property rights are intricately linked to individual freedom. The capacity to possess and govern property empowers individuals to exercise autonomy and pursue their interests. It grants them a sense of security and self-determination, enabling them to make choices that shape their lives. Moreover, property rights facilitate the accumulation of wealth, which can be utilised to support their families, invest in education, or contribute to philanthropic endeavours. This further enhances their freedom and well-being, fostering a prosperous and fulfilling existence.

  4. Rule of Law:

    Property rights are intricately linked to the rule of law. A solid and comprehensive legal framework that safeguards property rights is essential for fostering fairness, justice, and accountability within a society. It establishes transparent rules and procedures for property transactions, resolves disputes, and provides protection against unlawful seizure or infringement. When combined with property rights, the rule of law instils trust in institutions, stimulates investment, and drives economic growth.

Evolution of Right to Property in India

Before Part III of the Indian Constitution, Article 19 (1) (f) and Article 31 entrenched the right to property as a fundamental right. Indian residents were given the right to purchase, keep, and dispose of their property under Article 19(1)(f). However, Article 31 safeguarded the right against being deprived of one’s property.

The Defence of India Act, which gave the government the authority to requisition and acquire any movable property in the public interest in accordance with the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Properties Act, 1952, which was passed in 1962, however, caused issues with property being a fundamental right to become apparent. As soon as the authority began purchasing land, it became clear that the State’s ability to do so for public benefit may be limited because the property right constituted a fundamental right.

What is the Right to Property article?

The Right to Property as a Fundamental Right (Article )

The right to property is guaranteed by Article 300-A of the Indian Constitution, which stipulates that nobody other than the State (government) has the power to take away someone’s immovable property.

What is Article 31 Right to Property?

Property rights are covered under Article 31 of the Indian Constitution, which is renowned for requiring property purchase. No authority may restrict an Indian citizen’s ability to possess property, according to Article 31. The rule of law has, however, been granted an exemption. However, anyone whose property is kept for public use is entitled to compensation from the Indian government.

There are three subclauses under Article 31: 31A, 31B, and 31C. Although they slightly contradict fundamental rights, the Article and its sections remain in place.

What is Article 17 Right to Property?

Everyone has the right to own their legally obtained property and to use, dispose of, and leave it to others. No one’s assets may be taken away from them unless it is in the public interest, and only in the situations and under the conditions allowed by law, with prompt payment of just compensation for the loss. Statutes may restrict property use as long as it is in the public interest.

The 44th Amendment Act and Changes to the Right to Property

The Constitution’s 44th Amendment was enacted in 1978 as part of the 45th Amendment Bill. The 44th Amendment Act was implemented to undo the modifications made in 1976 due to the enactment of the 42nd Amendment Act, which changed several clauses against the people’s desire.

The 42nd Amendment, passed by the Indira Gandhi-led Indian National Congress during the Emergency, introduced significant constitutional alterations that the 44th Amendment sought to rectify.

What Modifications Were Made to the Constitution by the 44th Amendment?

  • The Right to Property was proclaimed to no longer be a Fundamental Right by the 44th Amendment to the Indian Constitution.
  • With the aid of the 44th Amendment, Article 31 and Article 19(1)(f) were eliminated from Part III – Fundamental Rights of the Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court reminded the State Government that the State had to adhere to legal authority and correct procedure before removing someone else’s private property. This must be done according to the rules outlined in Article 300A.

Why was the Right to Property Removed from Fundamental Rights?

The following are the main reasons for transferring property rights from the category of fundamental rights to those of human or legal rights:

  • Considered to be stronger than private necessity is a public necessity
  • Objectives connected to socialism and economic distribution
  • The creation of public facilities for citizens
  • To better serve the public interest

Understanding Article 300A: Right to Property as a Legal Right

The Constitution (44th Amendment) Act of 1978 made the right to property no longer an essential freedom. However, it remained a fundamental right under Article 300 A of the Constitution and a human right in a welfare state. Article 300 A conditions that only legal authority may deprive a person of their property. The State can only take away a citizen’s property if it is done in line with the legal process. Even if it isn’t stated explicitly in Article 300 A, the responsibility to pay compensation is implied by that Article.

In other words, it would be against a person’s human right and constitutional right under Article 300 A of the Constitution to forcibly evict them of their private property without following due process of law.

What is an Example of a Right to Property?

A property owner has complete control over their property thanks to the right to the property. This implies that the person may make judgements regarding their assets as needed. The right to property, for instance, allows a property owner the right to rebuild their current home completely. A property’s legal owner may also give it to anybody they want.

If the government needs to take ownership of private property for the benefit of the public, the rightful owner will be compensated.

Is the Right to Own Private Property a Human Right?

According to the 44th Amendment added to the Indian Constitution in 1978, the Right to Property is still a human right, not a fundamental one. This is due to the addition of Article 300-A in Part XII of the Constitution Act of 1978, which deleted Article 31.

The Difference Between Fundamental and Human Rights

Fundamental rights mean the fundamental freedoms that citizens of a nation are entitled to under its Constitution. Human rights, on the other hand, are universal rights that apply to all people, regardless of their citizenship, religion, caste, faith, colour, sex, or language, among other things.

What is the Current Legal Status of the Right to Property?

The Right to Property was no longer considered a fundamental right following the passage of the 44th Constitutional Amendment in 1978. According to the Indian Constitution, everyone may use it as a human right.

Supreme Court on the Right to Property

According to the Supreme Court of India, the government cannot, in any circumstance, seize ownership of a property unless legal procedure and the law are followed. The court further emphasised that the State could not invade a citizen’s private property and assert its ownership.

Balancing Property Rights and Public Welfare

The practice of land acquisition allows the government (federal or State) to purchase private property for a variety of uses. In exchange, the government gives the landowner fair compensation and is responsible for the affected landowners’ rehabilitation and relocation.

The Land Purchase Act of 2013 governs and regulates the entire land purchase process. The Act lays down the requirement to provide landowners with just compensation.

The Interplay with Other Fundamental Rights

In Part 3 of the Indian Constitution, the right to property was listed as one of the fundamental rights. The Right To Property was abolished by abolishing Article 31 and Article 19(1)(f) by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978. Article. 19 (1) (f) ensures that any person’s right against his property remains protected.

The following are the primary components of the right to freedom of speech and expression:

  • Only an Indian citizen is eligible to use this right.
  • The right to communicate one’s ideas and opinions on any topic by any medium, such as oral communication, writing, printing, a picture, a film, or a movie, is protected by Article 19(1)(a).
  • This right is not absolute, though, and the government is permitted to enact laws that impose reasonable limitations in the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity, the security of the nation, friendly relations with other countries, public order, decency, and morality, as well as the prevention of judicial slander, defamation, and incitement to commit crimes.

Case studies exemplifying conflicts between different fundamental rights related to property

CASE 1: 

The Supreme Court has ruled in Vidhya Devi v. The State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors. That the freedom to possess private property is an inalienable human right, one must be stripped of their property rights by a party with legal standing. In this case, the plaintiff received compensation because the State had acquired the property in error.


The Supreme Court ruled in the matter of Hari Krishna Mandir Trust vs the State of Maharashtra and Others that the appellant cannot be legally dispossessed of his land strip since it is a private road and that doing so would violate Article 300A of the Constitution.

Landmark Court Cases and Judicial Interpretations

In the case of B. K. Ravichandra v. Union of India (2020), the Supreme Court mandated that the Centre restore the land to its owners, notwithstanding the fact that the right to property is not a fundamental right. The Supreme Court’s rulings and the history of the right to property show that, despite doubts about its priority as a fundamental right, the law nevertheless safeguarded it. It also reveals that it is a crucial right that protects fundamental rights and economic liberty, as this court’s developing jurisprudence shows. The phrasing of Article 300-A is essential, and its similarity to Articles 21 and 265 cannot be disregarded—after all, they constitute a guarantee of the importance of the rule of law.

The Supreme Court found in the more recent case of Bajrang v. State of Madhya Pradesh (2021) that the “right to property is still a constitutional right under Article 300A of the Constitution” in a situation where the government claimed ownership of excess land despite there being none. Only in accordance with the legal process may a right be denied.

The courts have also accepted the State’s interference with the citizen’s property rights. The government does not have the right to interfere with a citizen’s right to property unless it is done so in a way that complies with the law, as was determined in Ravindran v. The District Collector, Vellore District (2020), which was subsequently reaffirmed in Jayalakshmi & Ors. v. State of Tamil Nadu (2021). The Madras High Court recently noted that the Right to Property and the Right to Life are closely related under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Safeguarding Your Property Rights: Rights and Responsibilities

Legal Recourse and Remedies in Case of Property Disputes

In India, property disputes may be complicated and emotionally charged, sometimes resulting in protracted judicial fights. It takes a systematic approach and in-depth knowledge of the legal system to settle these conflicts. Let’s examine the procedures involved in resolving property disputes in India while emphasising other settlement options.

  1. Understanding the Legal Framework:

    Knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations regulating property disputes, such as the Transfer of Property Act, the Indian Succession Act, and the Registration Act, is crucial to resolve a property dispute in India efficiently.

  2. Compile Evidence:

    Compile all pertinent papers, such as property deeds, contracts, sale/purchase receipts, and other substantiating paperwork proving ownership and different legal facets of the contested property.

  3. Mediation and Negotiation:

    In mediation, the opposing parties designate a neutral third party to assist in conversations to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution. Conversely, negotiation entails face-to-face discussions between the parties concerned. These techniques can help resolve conflicts over family property quickly, cheaply, and with less animosity.

  4. Legal Notice:

    The next stage is to issue a legal notice to the opposing party if mediation fails to result in an acceptable conclusion. The nature of the property dispute, the preferred course of action, and a deadline for a response should all be made crystal apparent in the legal notice. An agreed-upon response time is granted to the opposing party, after which legal action may be brought.

  5. Filing a Lawsuit:

    After all previous avenues of negotiation have failed, a lawsuit must be filed to resolve the property issue. The lawsuit should include the specifics of the property dispute and be backed by the pertinent paperwork and proof.

  6. Gathering Evidence and Making Your Case:

    It is essential to offer strong evidence in support of your claim in the property dispute throughout the court procedures. Documents about the property, witness accounts, professional judgements, and other pertinent evidence may be included.

  7. Appeals and Out-of-Court Settlements:

    You can appeal to a higher court if the decision is not in your favour. Before pursuing an appeal, it is necessary to consider the ramifications and speak with an attorney thoroughly. Additionally, parties to property issues, particularly those involving family property, may opt to resolve them outside of court through arbitration or a settlement agreement, which can assist save time and money and retain secrecy.

Related: Documents Required for Buying a Property

Related: How to Calculate the Market Value of Property?


Property rights play a crucial role in maintaining a democratic and equitable society. In a democratic framework, property rights provide individuals with the security and confidence to invest their resources and pursue economic opportunities.

When people are assured that they can reap the benefits of their efforts through property ownership, it incentivises hard work, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Property rights promote social equity by fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. They enable individuals to accumulate wealth over time and pass it on to future generations, creating a more equal society by breaking the cycle of poverty.

Moreover, property rights ensure the fair allocation of resources as they facilitate open markets where goods and services are exchanged through voluntary transactions based on mutually agreed-upon terms. This not only encourages efficiency but also promotes freedom of choice, enhancing individual autonomy within a democratic society.

Property rights serve as a foundation for democracy and contribute significantly to building an equitable society where individuals have equal opportunities for growth and prosperity.

Related: Do Your Homework before Buying Property Online

Frequently Asked Question & Answers (FAQs) –

1. Is the right to property a legal right?

According to Article 300-A in Part XII of the Indian Constitution, the right to property is legitimate.

2. Is the right to property a constitutional right?

Property rights are constitutional rights rather than fundamental rights. The right to property was one of the seven essential liberties guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.

3. Is the Right to Property a human right?

Private property ownership is a fundamental human right. The Supreme Court has ruled in a judgement that the State can only seize it by following proper procedure and legal authority.

4. What is the prime goal of Article 300-A in the Indian Constitution?

The prime goal of Indian Constitution's Article 300A strives to guarantee that no individual would be dispossessed of their property. Before it was removed, article 31 had a clause stating the right to property. Currently, article 300A lists the right to property as a legal right.

6. What is Article 19 F right to property?

The Indian Constitution's 44th Amendment removed Article 19(I)(F). It gave Indian individuals the ability to own, keep, and sell property—something that was previously impossible owing to economic disparities.

7. What is Article 300A, a right to property?

Article 300 A states that only legal authority may deprive a person of their property. A citizen's property can only be taken away by the State if it is done in line with the legal process.

8. What is Article 31, a right to property?

Private property could only be taken by the government with the power of law, not an executive order, according to Article 31(1) of the Constitution.






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