Meaning of property

In general, the word “property” has several different meanings. Everything that is readily available may be classed as Property if one takes a look around. Any tangible or intangible object that has value to others may be referred to as property. The value affixed to a piece of property is its fundamental feature. It is a source of riches in some shape or form. However, the value could be either monetary or subjective. Therefore, property often refers to real estate, stock, constructed assets, and obligations owed to other parties. However, the phrase has a specific meaning when used in a legal context. The freedom to use and dispose of things however one sees fit is the right to do so.

Definition of property.

eminent jurist When defining the term “property,” Salmond noted that it may be taken in one of the following three senses:

(i) All of a person’s legal rights are referred to as property. That is to say, it involves a man’s total ownership of both incorporeal and material things.

(ii) The word exclusively refers to a man’s proprietary rights, not his personal rights.

(iii) The phrase covers the rights to property ownership in tangible items like buildings and other structures. Bentham, a different legal thinker, claimed that the term “property” encompasses ownership of only material possessions. He has, in certain ways, used the phrase in a limited manner. According to Austin, property refers to the broadest legal definition of pleasure, which includes servitudes. Both proprietaries and a man’s personal rights are included in the property.

Which laws of India govern property.

The following laws usually govern all property-related laws:
1. Transfer of property act, 1882 – this is key statute which provides for broad principles of immovable property such as their gift, sale, exchange, mortgage, lease etc.
2.The Indian Easement Act of 1882 – is the main statute outlining the general guidelines for immovable property easementary rights.
3.The Registration Act of 1908 – specifies the paperwork needed for both movable and immovable property registration and governs the process.
4.The Indian Stamp Act of 1889 – requires the payment of stamp duty on a number of specific papers. The Indian Stamp Duty Act serves as fiscal law.

5.The real estate (regulation and development) act of 2016 (RERA) – is a key piece of legislation that outlines a number of rules for the real estate sector’s growth and promotion.

6.The Specific Relief Act of 1963 – (the “Act”) lays out procedures for regaining control of both moveable and immovable property.

Types of property

In India, there are numerous sorts of property that fall under the following categories:

  1. Moveable and immoveable property.
  2. Tangible and intangible property.
  3. Private and public property.
  4. Personal and real property.
  5. Corporal and incorporeal property.

Movable and immoveable property

Movable property.

In simple words transportable property is everything that can be transported from one location to another. Moveable property has not been specifically defined in any act, just like real estate.
(i)Movable property is defined as “property of every sort, excluding immovable property” in Section 3(36) of the General Clause Act.
(ii) The registration act of 1908’s Section 2(9) defines movable property as “property of every other description, except immovable property,” which includes standing wood, growing crops and grass, fruit on and juice found in trees, as well as other types of property.
(iii) According to Section 22 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, “movable property” is defined as “corporeal property of every sort, except for land and items permanently fastened to anything, which is attached to the soil”

Immovable property.

Although the phrase “immovable property” has been defined in a number of key acts, none of them do so explicitly. The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, is the key law governing immovable property. According to the Transfer of Property Act of 1882, “instrument” refers to a non-testamentary instrument; “immovable property” is defined as “immovable property does not include standing timber, growing crops, or grass.”

(i) Immovable property is defined as including land, benefits derived from land, objects attached to the earth, or things that are permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth, according to Section 3(26) of the General Clauses Act of 1897. Similarly,

Immovable property is defined in Section 2(6) of the Indian Registration Act of 1908 as “things attached to the earth, not living things like trees, plants, or grass. Land, structures, hereditary benefits, rights of way, lighting, ferries, fisheries, and any other advantage derived from land are all included in this description.

Public Property and Private Property

Property can be divided into public and private property according to the idea of ownership. Below is a discussion of the two types:

(i) In some governmental capacity, the public owns public property as such. In other words, it belongs to the government and is utilised for the general good of the populace. A public property includes a park or a government hospital.

(ii) Private property is defined as belonging to a certain person or another private person. A citizen’s residence could be considered his private property.

Real and Personal Property

Roman law is largely responsible for this distinction between real and personal property, which is still used in England today. Below is a discussion of the two types of property:

(i) Real property refers to all legal land rights.

(ii) Personal property includes all other proprietary rights, including both in rem and in personam rights.

Corporeal and Incorporeal Property 

These are the only two types of attributes that are recognised.

(i) Corporeal property refers to goods that are physically present in the world, such as real estate, homes, jewellery, silver, etc.

(ii) Incorporeal property is an intangible since it cannot be seen or touched. Copyrights and easement rights are both intangible assets.

Tangible property and intangible property

Tangible property-

Assets that are utilised in a company’s operations are tangible assets since they are tangible and quantifiable. Tangible assets include things like property, plant, and machinery. Because they provide the tools by which businesses produce their goods and services, tangible assets serve as the foundation of a company’s operations. Being physical assets, tangible assets are susceptible to damage from occurrences that occur naturally.

These assets include:

  • real estate
  • automobiles
  • Equipment
  • Machinery
  • furniture
  • Inventory
  • Securities like stocks, bonds, and cash

Intangible property-

Nonphysical assets used in the long run are often considered intangible assets. Because future benefits are unpredictable, it is challenging to put a value on intangible assets, which are frequently intellectual assets.

Non-physical assets known as intangible assets can add far more value to a company’s future worth than tangible assets. Both of these asset classes are originally listed on the balance sheet, which aids banks, creditors, and investors in determining the company’s worth.

Intangible assets are intellectual property that includes:

  • Patents, which grant an inventor property rights
  • Trademarks, which are identifiable words or symbols that identify a certain product and set one company apart from another.
  • Franchises, a kind of licence that a party (franchisee) purchases to provide them access to a company’s brand and allow them to sell things under their name.
  • Goodwill, which is the price that a corporation pays to purchase the assets of a target company over and beyond what those assets are worth.
  • Copyrights, which stand for intellectual property that is shielded from copying by unapproved parties


The aforementioned explanation makes it clear that the concept of property has existed since the dawn of human civilization. The idea of property has undergone significant change over time. This change may have occurred due to the concept’s jurisprudential nature. Thus, Property as a notion has evolved in an unexpected way from a single brick to the idea guiding a product. Property law is a dynamic idea that will continue to change in the next years due to the study being done in this area.


  1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/515323/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Property_law_in_India
  3. https://districts.ecourts.gov.in/sites/default/files/TRANSFER%20OF%20PROPERTY%20ACT.pdf
  4. https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2338/1/A1882-04.pdf

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