Right to property under article 300 A


Whether the right to property is a fundamental right under the constitution of India, I am afraid that the government will not pay the fair price of my land. The government has acquired my land without payment of compensation. What is the remedy against such arbitrary decision?

Question asked on 21/03/2015

Answered by: Advocate Shivendra

You are entitled to receive fair compensation for your land. The government is bound to pay reasonable compensation before the acquisition of land under the provision of land acquisition act. In Dnyaneshwar v. State of Maharashtra, (2002) 4 Mah LJ 612 the Bombay High Court is held that depriving the petitioner of his right to compensation in violation of the right guaranteed in Article 300-A of the Constitution of India. 

Right to property is still a constitutional right so that government cannot deprive a person of his property save by authority of law. In other words, the government has no power to deny a person from his property without following a just, fair and reasonable rule. 

The 44th constitutional amendment act inserts article 300-A. Before this amendment, right to property was the fundamental right, enshrined in article 19 (1) (f) & 31 of the Constitution of India. However, ambit and scope of this right have diminished by the amendment above act, but the aggrieved person remains a right to move writ petition before the High Court under article 226 of the Constitution of India.

After 44th amendment, article 300-A only prohibits deprivation of the right to property by mere executive order unless that order is made or authorised by some law enacted by the legislature. Eventually, the aggrieved person can challenge the legality or fairness of procedure followed for acquisition of land instead of acquisition of land.

What is the impact of this amendment?

The government may deprive a person of his property for greater public use, and an aggrieved person cannot invoke article 32, i.e. move a writ before the Supreme Court by infringement of his fundamental right. 

Supreme Court has vast power in respect of infringement of the fundamental right. More so, the court can take a judicial review of the law which infringes the fundamental right of the citizen. As of now, the right to property is not a fundamental right, therefore, therefore, the scope of judicial review does not exist [K.T. Plantation (P) Ltd. v. State of Karnataka, (2011) 9 SCC 1].

Meaning of property towards 300-A 

Article 300 A includes all type of property capable of being owned [Union of India v.Martin Lottery Agencies Ltd.(2009) 12 SCC 209]. It includes tangible, intangible, corporeal and incorporeal property. Article 300 A does not confine to land alone but includes intangible property like copyright, intellectual property rights, mortgage, money, any interest in the property, lease, license. The pension and gratuity are a valuable right of individual therefore protected under article 300 A.  

Land acquisition and fair compensation 

Government violates the rule of law by does not pay fair or adequate compensation of the land in proportionate of the prevailing market price of the property [K.T. Plantation (P) Ltd. v. State of Karnataka, (2011) 9 SCC 1]. The rule of law is the basic structure of the constitution and incorporated in article 14, 19 & 21 of the constitution.

You can challenge the acquisition procedure on the ground of violation of article 300 A along with article 14, 19 and 21. Thus, you should file a writ before the High Court under article 226 of the constitution.  File such writ on the ground that state government did not pay compensation before acquiring the land.

Article 300 A mandates that fair compensation is a constitutional right of the citizen and it is mandatory for the government to pay reasonable compensation. Acquisition of land without payment of adequate compensation violates the constitutional right guaranteed under article 300-A. 

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Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate, Lucknow

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