Article 31 of the Indian Constitution deals with property rights and the process of compulsory acquisition of private property by the state. In this post, we will explore the provisions of Article 31 in detail and understand its significance in protecting the rights of citizens.
Article 31 of the Indian Constitution is a part of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the citizens of India. It deals with the right to property and lays down the guidelines for the state to acquire private property for public use.
According to Article 31, no person shall be deprived of their property except by authority of law. This means that the state can acquire private property only through a process of law and not arbitrarily. Furthermore, the law must provide for the payment of just compensation to the owner of the property.
The term ‘property’ mentioned in this article includes both movable and immovable property, as well as any interest in such property. The term ‘compensation’ refers to the value of the property at the time of acquisition, as well as any damages suffered by the owner as a result of the acquisition.
Article 31 also lays down the principles of compulsory acquisition of property by the state. The state can acquire private property only for a public purpose, and the acquisition must be necessary for achieving that purpose. Moreover, the law must provide for the minimum disturbance to the owner of the property.
The right to property is a fundamental right, and any law that seeks to acquire private property must meet the standards laid down by Article 31. However, in 1977, the Constitution was amended to remove the right to property as a fundamental right and make it a legal right.
In conclusion, Article 31 of the Indian Constitution is an important provision that protects the property rights of citizens and ensures that the state cannot acquire private property arbitrarily. The provision for just compensation ensures that the owner of the property is not unfairly deprived of their assets, and the principles of compulsory acquisition ensure that the process is carried out in a fair and transparent manner.