The term ownership is emerged from the word 'own' which means "to have or to hold a thing". One who holds a thing as his own is called owner and will have the right of ownership over it. Therefore, the term ownership literary means “legitimate and absolute right of a person over a thing or an object having title".

Definition of Ownership:

          According to Austin: "Ownership means right which avails against everyone who is subject to the law conferring the right to put thing to user of indefinite nature." Full ownership is defined as " a right indefinite in point of user,  unrestricted in point of  disposition and unlimited in point of duration" it is a right in rem which is available against the whole world.

Characteristics of ownership:

1) Right to possess -
           Possession means "physical control over a thing or an object. To constitute ownership the owner must be entitled to the possession of the property.

2) Right to possess the thing, which he owns: 
          This right in strict sense. He may not have necessarily the possession for he may have been wrongfully deprived of it or may have voluntarily divested himself of it.

3) Right to use and enjoy:

          The owner of the property has a right to use and enjoy the property he owns subject to certain restrictions / regulations by law/state. These are liberties. The right to manage it for example: the right to decide how it shall be used and the right to income from it. These are in fact liberties; the owner has liberties to use the thing. I.e. he is under no duty not to use it in contract with other who is under duty not to use it or interfere with it. 

4) Right to Consume, destroy (liberties) or alienate:

          It means right to dispose off or gift or Mortgage or lease etc. The right of owner over property is absolute, which includes the right of alienation.  The right to consume and to destroy is straightforward liberties.

5) Perpetual right / Indeterminate Duration: 
         The owner of the property has perpetual right or the right for unlimited period over the property. Those who are not owners may be entitled to possess or use the thing but the period for which they are so entitled is a limited duration.  But in case of Ownership, it is of an indeterminate duration. Thus the interest of Bailee or lessee comes to an end when the period of bailment or lease is over. But the owner's interest is perpetual and does not terminate even in owner's death, because in that case the property will go to his legal hairs.

6) Actual right: 

          The right of owner over the property is heritable. It passes to the legal hairs after his death.

7) Ownership has a residuary character: 

            It is possible that an owner has parted or given away so many rights in respect of the things he owned. Still he continues to be the owner of the things in view of the residuary character of ownership. For example if and owner gives the lease of his property to A and easement to B, his Ownership of the land is now consists of Residual right. For example rights which remain when the lesser rights have been taken away.


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