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Home > Know Your Rights > Right to reside and profession throughout India
FAQ's | Landmark Judgements | Legal Frameworks


Q1.  What is meant by right to reside and practice any profession in India?

A1.  Right to reside and practice any profession throughout the territory of India is a part of the fundamental right to freedom guaranteed to all Indian citizens by the Constitution of India. This right entitles every citizen of India to settle, reside, buy property and practice their occupation throughout the length and breadth of the country.


Q2.  That means I can go to any state in India and make my house there to settle?

A2.  Yes you can do that. However, there are certain restrictions to this right which can be implemented by the Government in the interest of the general public. For example, you will be forbidden to settle in certain areas inhabited by scheduled tribes to protect them from exploitation and to protect their cultural heritage. Also, the Constitution of India restricts the people from other states of India to settle or buy property in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from these two restrictions, all Indian citizens are free to reside in any part of India. So if you are from Bengal, you are free to settle in Tamil Nadu or Gujarat or any other state of your choice.


Q3.  Why can’t I settle in Jammu and Kashmir?

A3.  The state of Jammu and Kashmir shares a special relation with India. It is the only Indian state that has its own Constitution. The Indian Government exercises limited rights over the state. It is to maintain the unique status of the state that Indian citizens from other states have been restricted from buying property in Jammu and Kashmir. Also the women of J&K who marry men from other states cannot purchase property in J&K.


Q4.  Are there any restrictions on the right to practice any profession throughout India also?

A4.  Yes, the Government can impose restrictions on the right to practice any profession or trade in the interest of the general public. You don’t have a right to carry on a business that is immoral or dangerous. Also, the Government may prescribe minimum professional qualification to practice any particular profession. Example, to start your own practice as a lawyer or a doctor you need to obtain a law or MBBS degree as that is the minimum qualification for that. Moreover, there are certain businesses that require special permission or license from the Government, e.g., medicines, arms and ammunitions etc.


Q5.  If there are so many restrictions, then how can I enjoy my rights to the fullest extent?

A5.  No right can be absolute. Giving absolute freedom to everyone will lead to anarchy. Enjoyment of rights is possible if everybody is doing what they are supposed to do without resorting to any illegal means. Also, in certain situations, it becomes imperative for the government to impose restrictions on our rights for the good of a larger section of society.



Q6.  What if I am restricted from using my right to reside by someone?

A6.  If you are unlawfully restricted from residing in any part of India, then you can directly approach the Supreme Court of India and pray for an appropriate writ. Any violation of any of your Fundamental right by any Government agency or any individual can be directly taken to the Supreme Court of India or High Court of the state in which you reside.


Q7.  How do I approach the court?

A7.  You can file a writ petition stating why you feel that your right to reside has been infringed and asking for remedies. You will need the services of a lawyer who will represent your case before the court. You can refer to the website of the Supreme Court of India (http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/) for any further information.


Q8.  Do I require a domicile certificate to start my profession or trade in another state in India?

A8.  No, you do not require a domicile. It is your fundamental right to practice any profession or trade in any state of India except Jammu and Kashmir. However, certain state Governments requires the domicile certificate if you are applying to any of the State Government jobs. But if you are starting your independent business or profession, then no such thing is required.

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