Right to Property (Article 31)

Is Right to Property now a legal right? You will find your answer in this article.

Fundamental Rights

The independence of many Asian and African nations did not result in the establishment of democracy and liberal institutions in all countries. The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 1948 which stressed providing basic rights to humans. The Constitution of India incorporated the basic human rights from the French Revolution and the American Constitution. Fundamental rights are included in the Constitution of India in Part III, Articles 12−35.

Right to Property

Article 31 of the Constitution earlier empowered the citizens to buy, hold and dispose of movable and immovable property as fundamental rights. After the addition of the word, ‘socialist’, the right to property was deleted from the list of fundamental rights by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978. Right to Property is now a legal right. (Article 300A).

Cultural and Educational Rights

  • Article 29 gives people the right to preserve their language, script and culture.
  • Article 30 gives minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Limitations on the Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights are not absolute keeping in mind the general welfare of the people. These are

  • Fundamental rights could be suspended during emergency. The rights of citizens are restored as soon as emergency is over.
  • The Parliament has the power to modify the application of fundamental rights to the members of the armed forces, police forces or intelligence organisations so that they are able to ensure proper discharge of their duties and maintain discipline among them.
  • Laws such as Defence of India Act and National Security Act curtail the use of the fundamental rights to safeguard the interests of the nation.
  • Fundamental rights can be suspended when emergency is declared by the President under Article 352. During emergency, the legislature can frame any laws. Citizens have no protection against the executive or legislative authorities.
  • Also Read Fundamental Duties

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