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Is private property included in material resources of a community? Here's Supreme Court's viewpoint
Private Property
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Is private property included in material resources of a community? Here's Supreme Court's viewpoint

| @indiablooms | 25 Apr 2024, 01:35 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Supreme Court has doubted the argument stating private property isn't included in the material resources of a community as per Article 39(b) of the Constitution, media reports said.

A nine-judge bench- headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud- was hearing the submissions made by the counsel of parties including the Property Owners Association (POA) of Mumbai.

The bench stated as quoted by NDTV, "It may be a little extreme to suggest that 'material resources of the community' only means public resources and we do not have their origin in the private property of an individual. I will tell you why it would be dangerous to take that view."

"Take simple things like mines and even private forests. For instance, for us to say that the governmental policy will not apply to the private forests under Article 39 (b)... therefore keep the hands off. It will be extremely dangerous as a proposition," it further added.

Referring to the prevalent situations in 1950 when the Constitution was made, the bench stated as quoted by NDTV, "The Constitution was intended to bring about social transformation and we cannot say that Article 39 (b) has no application once the property is privately held."

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said as quoted by the media, "The socialist concept of property is the mirror image which attributes to property, a notion of commonality. Nothing is exclusive to the individual. All property is common to the community. That's the extreme socialist view."

"And what is that ethos? Our ethos regards property as something which we hold in trust. We don't go as far as to adopt the socialistic model that there is no private property..." the CJI said.

The CJI further said excluding private property from community resources will be a dangerous interpretation of Article 29(b).

The CJI said as quoted by Live Law, "It will be a little extreme to suggest that resources with the community will not mean private property of the individual. Why it would be dangerous to take that view- if it is a private forest, for us to say it is private and therefore 39(b) will not apply and therefore it is hands off - it would be extremely dangerous.

"We must put ourselves back to the 1950s when the Constitution was made. The Constitution was intended to bring about social transformation..."

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