The Madras High Court recently emphasised that the right to property is closely related to right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution while expressing its displeasure over government inaction in a property dispute, thereby affecting the property rights of number of petitioners.
“They (authorities) need to be told that right to property has a close nexus to right of life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the High Court said.
The case involved a land acquisition notification issued around 16 years ago, in December 2004, which was successfully challenged by the petitioners in two writ petitions.
At the time, it was noted that the Court also gave the State legal advice on how the authorities may go about issuing a fresh notification in compliance with the due process of law.
Alleging that the State failed to take any action since then, the petitioners approached the High Court again for relief.
“If the allegations made in the affidavit filed in support of the petition were to be accepted on their face value, then, it only exposes the callousness with which the Authorities in this District deal with the right to properties of the citizens”, Justice N Seshasayee observed.
It displayed the apathy with which the authorities deal with the right to property of the citizens of this country, the Court added.
“They (authorities) need to be told that right to property has a close nexus to right of life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. By their action inaction, they have denied the right of these citizens at least for 10 years, and to that extent, they have transgressed the quality of life of the citizens of this Country within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the order said.
The Court, therefore, directed the State authorities to give a statement regarding the correctness of the allegations made by the petitioners, before adjourning the matter.