ISSN: 2250-2777

A Critical Analysis of Emergence and Implications of Doctrine of Public Trust
Author(s): Avneesh Kumar, Student, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow, India.

The Doctrine of Public Trust has been widely used in USA and other common law countries to invalidate the actions of the state which are not in the interests of the public. The essence of the Doctrine provides that the resources held by the states are not owned by the states but the state works as a trustee of those resources for the welfare of public. Initially the doctrine was confined to only several types of natural resources as like lakes, rivers, seashores etc, but gradually the courts have extended the doctrine to cover even the dry land, forests, wildlife, and almost all type of ecological objects. In this research paper the author first studied the gradual emergence of the Doctrine of Public Trust, and then went on to discuss the ancient Roman Law and its development, the common law, and the laws of USA, to get a correct reflection of the Doctrine of Public Trust. Then the author has discussed the essential pre-conditions for the application of the doctrine of public trust, namely the existence of a legally enforceable right, and its consistency with contemporary environmental concerns. The author has provided different implications of the doctrine of public trust; in the finding of author the state is required to preserve and protect the natural resources, and use it only for the purposes of public interest. A grant made by the state would pass the test of the Doctrine of Public Trust, only if it is in consonance with the Public interest. The author has also discussed the application of Doctrine in India through various case laws and constitutional provisions. In the end the author has provided the findings of the research.

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