Forcible dispossession of a person’s property a human right violation: Supreme Court

Due process of law is must, says Supreme Court

Updated - March 12, 2020 12:21 am IST

Published - March 11, 2020 11:19 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court has reiterated that forcible dispossession of a person of his private property without due process of law is a human right violation.

In a recent judgment by a Bench led by Justice S.K. Kaul, the court stressed, quoting from its judgments, that right to property is both a human right and a constitutional right — the latter under Article 300A of the Constitution.

Also read| Private property is a human right: Supreme Court

“It is accepted in every jurisprudence and by different political thinkers that some amount of property right is an indispensable safeguard against tyranny and economic oppression of the government... Property itself is the seed bed which must be conserved if other constitutional values are to flourish,” the judgment quoted a precedent.

The verdict came on the acquisition of a few acres in Sikkim by the State’s Agriculture department in 1980 for building the Progeny Orchard Regional Centre.

The land was recorded in two names — 1.29 acres in the name of the Maharaja of Sikkim and 7.07 acres in the name of Man Bahadur Basnett, who was the father of the original appellant in this case.

The judgment found that “in this case, the appellant could not have been forcibly dispossessed of her property without any legal sanction, and without following due process of law, and depriving her payment of just compensation”.

Noting that the State was using the land and attempt at mediation had failed, the court finally gave the State three months’ time from the date of the judgment for it to “make up their mind as to what they want to do”.

“Would they still like to retain the land by issuing a proper notification, or would they like to surrender possession of the land. In either eventuality, the question of payment for use and occupation would still arise, which will have to be determined in accordance with law,” the judgment said.

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