SC questions Centre on right to property

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine the validity of the constitutional amendment which scrapped right to property as a fundamental right....

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 28, 2009 12:40 am

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine the validity of the constitutional amendment which scrapped right to property as a fundamental right. A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued notice and sought response from the Centre on a petition seeking to declare the 44th constitutional amendment of 1978 as illegal.

The petition filed by Sanjeev Kumar Agarwal,a social activist,pleaded that there was a need to declare the right to property as a fundamental right,as in changed socio-economic conditions the amendment was being misused by the Government.

Senior counsel Harish Salve,appearing for the petitioner,said though the days of feudalism were gone,people were being told that Article 19(1)(F) was not available when land was acquired for SEZ purposes.

The senior advocate also contended that the land being acquired mostly belonged to farmers and small land-owners. He pointed out that some observations made by the late Justice H R Khanna indicated that right to property was not a fundamental right,thus creating confusion. “The relegation of the right to property has granted the licence to the Government to abuse its power of eminent domain by taking private property for purported public use,” the petition said.

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