Public Trust Doctrine

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Basically, the ancient Roman Empire developed this legal theory i.e. Doctrine of the Public Trust. The Public Trust Doctrine primarily rests on the principle that certain resources like air, sea, waters and the forests have such a great importance to the people as a whole that it would be wholly unjustified to make them a subject of private ownership. The said resources being a gift of nature, they should be made freely available to everyone irrespective of the status in life. The doctrine enjoins upon the Government to protect the resources for the enjoyment of the general public rather than to permit their use for private ownership or commercial purposes. Public trust doctrine…show more content…
It has been extended in recent years, placing a duty on the state to hold environmental resources in trust for the benefit of the public. At its widest, it could be used by the courts as a tool to protect the environment from many kinds of degradation. In some countries, the doctrine has formed the basis of environmental policy legislation, allowing private rights of action by citizens for violations by the state (directly or indirectly) of the public trust The Rule of Law runs close to the rule of life and the Indian Constitution, in its humanist vision, has made environmental-ecological preservation a fundamental value. The higher jurisprudence of Article 21 of the Constitution (right to life) embraces the protection and preservation of nature 's gift without which life ceases to be viable and human rights become a simulacrum. In other words, this right to life under article 21 has been extended to include the right to a healthy environment and the right to livelihood. The third aspect of the right to life is the application of public trust doctrine to protect and preserve the public land. When the Indian courts have applied the public trust doctrine, they have considered it not only as an international law concept, but one, which is well established in their national legal…show more content…
In the third case, M.I. Builders v Radhey Shyam Sahu , the Supreme Court has applied the public trust doctrine. Here, the Lucknow Nagar Mahapalika (i.e. Lucknow City Corporation) granted permission to a private builder to construct an underground shopping complex was against the municipal Act and Master plan of the city of Lucknow. The builder was supposed to develop the site at its own cost and then to realize the cost with profit not exceeding more than 10% of the investment in respect of each shop. Under the terms of the agreement, full freedom was given to the builder to lease out the shops as per its own terms and conditions to persons of its choice on behalf of the Mahapalika. The builder was also given the right to sign the agreement on behalf of the Mahapalika and was only required to a copy to the Mahapalika after its execution. Both the builder and the Mahapalika were to be bound by the terms of that
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