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2004 YLR 608

Per Syed Zahid Hussain, J.

(a) Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 Articles 23 & 24

The citizens of this country have been guaranteed certain rights, some of which are recognized as “fundamental”. Right to acquire, hold and dispose of property is one of the fundamental rights enshrined by Article 23 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. Constitution provides a guarantee for the protection of this right. Clause (1) of Article 24 of the Constitution in unequivocal terms lays down that “No person shall be compulsorily deprived of his property save in accordance with law”. Acquisition process employed to deprive some one of his property is, however, an exception, visualized by the Constitution. This, however, has to be in consonance with the conditions, parameters and manner laid down in clauses (2) and (3) of Article 24. The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 enables the State to acquire property of someone for public purpose. No one can ordinarily object to such acquisition, despite his unwillingness to lose his property, and he can only ask for compensation. If his property is being taken over to serve the public purpose and interest, he is to be given adequate, fair, just and due compensation. The property might in a particular case be the only source of his income or the acquisition may render him shelterless. The Court being guardian of the fundamental rights of the citizens thus, has to keep all this in mind while dealing with the cases of this nature and ensure award of due and fair compensation to the erstwhile landowner. [pp. 614 & 615]B

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