Concept of Property and its Related Topics

The term “property” has different meanings that is the word property is used in numerous senses in general. Anything available in the surroundings may be categorised as property. Each and every objects which has some value for human beings which may be tangible or intangible is termed as property. The indispensable characteristic of property is that the value attached to it. In general, we understand property as land, buildings, shares and so on. In legal sense, it is the right to enjoy and to dispose of certain things in an absolute manner as one thinks it fit.

The Supreme Court of India in the case of R.C. Cooper vs. Union of India AIR 1970 SC 564, interpreted the concept of Property in the legal regime. The court in this case observed that the word property includes both corporeal (Land, furniture and so on) and incorporeal things (Copyrights and Patents) but the recent trend of the Apex Court has changed. Now, the court has begun viewing property under article 21 of the Constitution of India as liberties exist even reference to the property owned and processed.

Kinds of Properties:

  1. Corporeal and Incorporeal Property -These are the two categories of properties that exist.
  2. Corporeal Property – Corporeal Property has a tangible existence and it is related to material things such as land, house, ornaments and so on.
  3. Incorporeal Property – Incorporeal Property is neither visible nor it is tangible. Examples of incorporeal property are Copyright, Right to easement and so on.
  4. Movable and Immovable Property – All the corporeal property is either movable or immovable property.
  5. Section 3 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 and Section 2 (6) of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 defines the term immovable property. Immovable property includes land, house, things attached and embedded in the land and so on.
  6. Movable property means the property which can be moved from one place to another. Movable property includes any corporal property which does not include immovable property.
  7. Public Property and Private Property –In simple terms, public propertyis the property which is owned by the public as such in governmental capacity. It is actually owned, controlled or maintained by the government but used for the benefit of the public. Private Property is the property which is owned by a particular individual or by some other person. For example – A residential house owned by an individual is his private property.
  8. Real and Personal Property –Real Property means the rights over the land which is recognised by law and Personal Property means all other proprietary rights whether they are right in rem or right in personam.
  9. Right in re aliena and Right in re propria – Right in re aliena sometimes referred as encumbrances. These are the rights of a specific user and these prevent the owner from exercising some definite right in reference to his property and Right in re propria are the immaterial forms of property. These are a product of human skill and labour.

Modes of Acquisition of Property:

  1. Possession – It is the objective realization of ownership. If a person lives over a land or any property for over many years as per the laws of the country, then he or she has possession of the property but he or she has to prove the same and if the property belongs to none then he or she can claim the same if they are enjoying the property over many years according to the laws of the country.
  2. Prescription –According to Salmond, “Prescription may be defined as the effect of lapse of time creating and destroying rights; it is the operation of time as a versatile effect.”Property can be acquired by prescription also.
  3. Agreement – A property is also acquired by making agreement between two or more persons. Different terms and conditions are included in the agreement by the parties who make the agreement in respect of the property to acquire it.
  4. Inheritance – This is another way of acquiring property. Property is acquired by inheritance that is to say if father dies then his property is enjoyed by his legal heirs.


The above mentioned paragraphs discuss the important topics related to property. It discusses the meaning, kinds and modes of acquisition of property. All the four modes of acquisition of property is discussed in short to make you understand the terms well.

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