Public Trust Doctrine in India
India is the first country to adopt the Public Trust Doctrine. The idea has been recognised by the common law in a number of significant instances. The Public Trust Doctrine can be argued to have its roots in Article 21. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to life as a basic right. The right to life includes, but is not limited to, the right to live with dignity, the right to a livelihood, the right to a healthy environment, pollution-free air, and clean water. Every person should be able to live in a clean and healthy environment. To live a healthy life, it is critical to conserve and develop the natural environment.
Environmental protection is specifically addressed in Articles 48A and 51A of the Constitution. Article 48A makes it mandatory for the state to enhance and safeguard the environment, as well as to preserve the forest and animals of the country. Article 51A deals with people' fundamental responsibilities. Citizens have a duty to maintain and improve the natural environment, according to Section (g) of Article 51A.
The goal of the Public Trust Doctrine is twofold:
It makes it mandatory for the state to exercise effective control and management of natural resources, and it empowers citizens to raise concerns about ineffective natural resource management.
As a result, any conduct that is harmful to nature or promotes environmental deterioration should be strictly forbidden or restricted. In India, the State/government is charged with protecting the environment under the Public Trust Doctrine. The doctrine requires the government to safeguard and improve public property (natural resources) while also regulating the activities of private parties who hold such property.
Every natural resource should be used in a responsible manner. Overexploitation of resources will rob future generations of their right to use such natural resources. It is important to remember that we have simply borrowed the world, which includes the environment, from our offspring, and it is each individual's responsibility to return it to their children in a better, not worse, shape.