The Supreme Court held in a judgment that a citizen’s right to own private property is a fundamental right. The State cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law.
Key highlights of the ruling:
- The State cannot trespass into the private property of a citizen and then claim ownership of the land in the name of ‘adverse possession.’ Grabbing private land and then claiming it as its own makes the State an encroacher.
- In a welfare state, right to property is a human right.
Important Info :
- The court was hearing a plea filed by Vidya Devi, a widow, whose four acres of land was taken over by the Himachal Pradesh government in 1967.
- Ordering the State to pay her ₹1 crore in compensation, the Supreme Court noted that in 1967, ‘right to private property was still a fundamental right’ under Article 31 of the Constitution.
- Property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978.
- Nevertheless, Article 300A required the State to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property, the Supreme Court reminded the government.
Source : The Hindu