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 Liberty Events
March 9: Workshop on Deepening Democracy: Property Rights and Environmental Protection, in Bangalore
Liberty Institute, India Friday, March 9, 2012

Liberty Institute, New Delhi, in partnership with Friedrich Naumann-Stiftung fur Die Freiheit is organising a worshop on Deepening Democracy: Property Rights and Environmental Protection in Bangalore, on 9th March 2012.






Deepening Democracy: Property Rights and and Environmental Protection


9 March 2012


School of Law Christ University

Bangalore, Karnataka, India

in collaboration with

Liberty Institute, New Delhi

 in partnership with 

Friedrich­Naumann­Stiftung für die Freiheit


Deepening Democracy: Property Rights and Environmental Protection

The School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore in collaboration with Liberty Institute, New Delhi proposes to conduct a day­long workshop on Deepening Democracy: Property Rights and Environment Protection on 9 March 2012 with the aim to discuss and debate the issues relating to democracy, property rights and environmental protection with reference to the Indian Constitution, legislations relating to land and environment, and democratic participation by the people.

History of the world has witnessed many wars fought for land and property rights and India has been no exception to that. On realizing the importance of the land and property rights, the framers of the Constitution of India made right to property a Fundamental Right. While the Constitution did protect the right to property, it failed to create a conducive environment for political acceptance of the same. Ultimately, the Right to Property was deleted from the Fundamental Rights by the 44th Amendment to the Constitution in 1978. Today, corruption has emerged as a major public concern. However, the single biggest source of corruption is related to land and property transactions.

Land issues are emerging at the top of the political agenda in the country today because land has become the primary asset of the people, particularly the poor. Reforming land laws and recognizing property rights is the need of the hour. Even the Apex Court commented that the archaic 1894 law needs to be changed as land acquisition today involves many issues including environmental protection.

There is another problem faced by indigenous tribal people that their land is being acquired by the government in the name of development without ensuring adequate compensation. If the investors directly deal with the land owners, it might be settled according to the mutual interest and requirement. But what is happening today is that land is acquired by the government which is in turn allotting the land to investors. As a result the investors gets more benefitted than the small farmers as they get it at much lower price than the real value of the land and land owner gets a pittance in the form of compensation. Therefore, democratic participation of the people in the land dealings and associated property rights acquires great significance in the present day context.

There is a close relation between land and environment. Irrational acquisition of land and land dealings result in environmental degradation. Environmental disturbances further lead to ecological imbalances. More often than not, environmental degradation could be related to lack of clearly defined property rights. Forests are considered valuable environmental resource, but without clearly defined property rights, forests degrade due to the "tragedy of the commons". Moreover forest and tree cover have a direct impact on local climate and environment.

There is a need to change the existing land laws. Accordingly an attempt has been made to recognize the land rights of most marginalized population in the country, that is, 80­90 million indigenous tribal people who live in the vicinity of forests, by enacting The Forest Rights Act, 2006. But the implications of this Act are yet to gain momentum. The Government of India has also proposed a number of new land related legislations, such as the Land Title Bill 2010, and Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill of 2011, to replace the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. For the urban slum dwellers, the government has proposed a draft Property Rights for Urban Poor. These proposals need to be seriously discussed and a considered perspective needs to be developed among citizens.

Keeping in view the above, the workshop aims at generating public opinion through intelligent discussion and debates on the issues pointed out in the proposal and arrive at reasonable conclusions.

Programme Schedule

Friday, 9 March 2012 

9.30 a.m.      ..  Inauguration and Keynote, Barun Mitra, Director, Liberty Institute, New Delhi 
10.30 a.m.    ..  Technical Session – I 
11.15 a.m.    ..  Tea Break 
11.30 a.m.    ..  Technical Session – II 
1.00 p.m.      ..  Lunch 
2.00 p.m.      ..  Technical Session – III 
3.30 p.m.      ..  Tea Break 
3.45 p.m.      ..  Panel Discussion 
4.30 p.m.      ..  Valedictory       

Topics and Resource Persons: 

Technical Session ­ I                .. Constitution of India and Property Rights 
Resource Person                     .. T. Devidas,  National Law School of India University, Bangalore 

Technical Session – II            .. Property Rights and Democratic Participation 
Resource Person                     .. Satyanarayana Sangita, ISAC,  Bangalore 

Technical Session – III           .. Land Acquisition and Environmental Protection. 
Resource Person                     .. M.K. Ramesh, National Law School of India University, Bangalore 

Technical Session IV               .. Panel Discussion 

No registration fee for participation. Participation certificate will be issued.

Chief Patron
Fr Thomas C. Mathew
Vice Chancellor

Fr Benny Thomas
School of Law

Somu C. S.
Associate Dean and Head of Department
School of Law

Faculty Organizing Committee
K. Umadevi (Coordinator)
Devaiah N. G.
Praneetha B. S.
Subha C.C.

Student Committee
Anu Liza Jose
Deepthi Paul
Mary Sebastian
Mohanavalli S.
Nishan G.K.
Oommen Mammen


School of Law, Christ University

Hosur Road


Tel: 080 40129560/9577

Email: umadevi.kovuru@christuniversity.in
Website: www.christuniversity.in

Liberty Institute, New Delhi

4/8 Sahyadri,

Plot 5, Sector 12 Dwarka,

New Delhi­110078

Tel: 011­28031309

Email: info@libertyinstitute.org.in
Websites: www.InDefenceofLiberty.orgwww.EmpoweringIndia.org


Friedrich­Naumann­Stiftung für die Freiheit

Regional Office, South Asia USO House,

6 Special Institutional Area

New Delhi­110067.

India Websites: www.freiheit.orgwww.southasia.fnst.org

This article was published in the Liberty Institute on Friday, March 9, 2012.
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