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The Revival of the Right to Property in India

Allen, Tom

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Over the last six decades, the Supreme Court of India has created and re-created a right to property from very weak textual sources, despite constitutional declarations calling for social revolution, numerous amendments to reverse key judgments, and even, in 1978, the repeal of the core constitutional provisions guaranteeing a right to property. This article challenges the usual account of these developments. The primary contention is that the 1978 repeal is much less significant than it appears, due to the Court’s creative interpretation of other constitutional provisions. The Supreme Court has consistently advanced liberal models of constitutionalism and property, despite the influence of other models on the original constitutional design and later amendments. This article also examines whether the Court’s liberalism is compatible with the egalitarian values of the Constitution, and how its position will affect attempts to address social issues relating to the distribution of property in India.


Allen, T. (2015). The Revival of the Right to Property in India. Asian Journal of Comparative Law, 10(01), 23-52.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 20, 2015
Publication Date Jul 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 25, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 11, 2015
Journal Asian Journal of Comparative Law
Print ISSN 2194-6078
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 01
Pages 23-52


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