Thursday, November 23, 2017
  Search 
Home
Opportunities
Partners
Publications
About Us
 
 
Please enter your email here, we would like to keep you informed.
 
 
Connect With Us - Facebook RSS
<November 2017>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930
Sections
Liberty In The News
Liberty Events
Conference Proceedings
Culture
Agriculture
Democracy
Development is the Key
Economic Freedom
Education for Life
Enterpreneurship
Environment
Freedom of Expression
Freedom to Trade
Globalization for the Good
Health is Wealth
Intellectual Property Rights
International Relations
Liberty is Security
Limited Government
Principles of Politics
Privatisation
Population - the ultimate resource
Property Rights
Regulatory Affairs
Rule of Law
Tax Freedom
Facts & Figures
Opportunities
Competitions
 Property Rights
 
Land Bill is placebo; real cure is restoring Right to Property
First Post, India Thursday, September 05, 2013

R. Jagannathan
Without iron-clad property rights, the state can simply dispossess you and effectively deny you your other fundamental rights. The Right to Property is the foundation on which all other rights are built. Without wealth, property, income and the means to livelihood (which is the broader definition of the word property), the other freedoms (equality, free speech, and religion) mean little. The Land Acquisition Act of 2013, which does not change the fact that Right to Property has been deleted from the Indian constitution, may only do more harm than good, writes R. Jagannathan, in the First Post.

Now that the Land Acquisition Bill is  a done deal, it is worth doing a post-mortem on it.

That the Bill may do more harm than good in the short-run is apparent, since it arbitrarily seeks to price land at twice the market rate in urban areas and four times in rural areas. It also makes land acquisition difficult and time-consuming, since 70-80 percent consent of land owners will now be required, and there are elaborate provisions for rehabilitating and resettling the people affected by land sales.

However, even assuming industry is willing to fork out the money and wait three or four years to acquire land for infrastructure and other public purpose projects, the problem is that the Bill does not address the fundamental issue: the original sin relates to the Indian state’s decision to delete the Right to Property from the list of fundamental rights every citizen is entitled to.

Without iron-clad property rights, the state can simply dispossess you and effectively deny you your other fundamental rights. The Right to Property is the foundation on which all other rights are built. Without wealth, property, income and the means to livelihood (which is the broader definition of the word property), the other freedoms (equality, free speech, and religion) mean little.
The Land Acquisition Bill tries to make up for decades of land-grab from farmers and the poor by the state and its capitalist cronies but does not address the reason why this kind of arbitrary dispossession became the norm for decades: the abolition of the Right to Property as a Fundamental Right through the 44th Constitution Amendment Bill in 1978.

The 44th amendment deleted Article 19(f)(1) in Part III of the constitution which listed every citizen’s fundamental rights, and also Article 31, which stipulated the conditions under which the state could coercively acquire property from private owners. Article 19(f)(1) gave citizens the fundamental right to “acquire, hold and dispose of property,” while Article 31 specified that citizens had the “right not to be deprived of property save by authority of law” and also the “right to assert that property can be acquired or requisitioned by the state only for a public purpose” (Articles 31(1) and (2)).

The 44th amendment did not eliminate property rights altogether, but it reduced property to only a legal right. It was no longer fundamental. Property rights were pushed from the powerful protection available under Article 19 to Article 300A, and the limitations specified under article 31 were whittled down. Article 300A reduced the legal remedies available to citizens in case their properties were to be taken over. They could now approach only the high court under Article 226, and not the Supreme Court under Article 32 – which was faster and more effective, being a remedy for transgression of a “fundamental right.”

In BR Ambedkar’s original constitution, the Right to Property was right up there along with freedom of speech, right to equality, freedom of religion, minority rights, and the right to constitutional remedies if any right was infringed upon.

This article was published in the First Post on Thursday, September 05, 2013. Please read the original article here.
Author : Mr Jagannathan is the editor of First Post, an online news website.
Tags- Find more articles on - property rights

Post your Comments on this Article

Name  
Email    
Comment  
Comments will be moderated

More Related Articles
Property Rights
More Articles


 
An Initiative of
LIBERTY INSTITUTE, INDIA
All rights reserved.