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'State cannot deprive citizens of their property without sanction of law'

State cannot deprive citizens of their property without sanction of law

New Delhi: In a democratic polity governed by the rule of law, the State cannot deprive citizens of their property without the sanction of law, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held.

The top court ruled that to forcibly dispossess citizens of their private property, without following the due process of law, would be to violate a human right, as also the constitutional right under Article 300A of the Constitution.A bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi in its verdict said the State being a welfare State governed by the rule of law cannot arrogate to itself a status beyond what is provided by the Constitution.

"In a democratic polity governed by the rule of law, the State could not have deprived a citizen of their property without the sanction of law," the court said.

The bench referred to an earlier verdict to say it has been held that the right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional or statutory right, but also a human right.

The court directed Himachal Pradesh government to pay the compensation to an illiterate widow in eight weeks with all statutory benefits, whose land it had acquired in 1967-68 for construction of a road between Nadaun-Sujanpur Road in Hamir Pur district without following the acquisition proceedings.

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