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M.C. Mehta vs Kamal Nath |Explained!

Case Commentary: M.C. Mehta vs Kamal Nath 

Background and Facts

Indian Express delivered an article about Span Motel Private Limited, the parent organization of Span Resorts. A similar association has dispatched a subsequent business called Span club.

In 1990, the region covered 27.12 Bighas, including a suitable woodland. In 1994, during Kamal Nath’s residency as Environment Minister, the property was regularized and made accessible for renting. The Beas River cleared away the Span Club and its yards over the long run.

The Span Club’s administration kept on moving tractors and earth movers and veered away from the Beas River’s way for the subsequent time. Thus, in September, a monstrous flood emitted from the Beas River, annihilating property esteemed at Rs. 105 centers.

Following a particularly disastrous occasion, the Administration of India and the Ministry of Environment and Forests have addressed the make a difference to the Himachal Pradesh government. Furthermore, a specialist panel was set up to resolve the issue.

They noticed that the Beas River is in an exceptionally flimsy state right now, and it is essentially hard to conjecture whether a comparative occasion would happen sooner rather than later.

Also, they said that drawn out arranging should be embraced in the Kullu Valley to carry out perpetual measures to shield the land and forestall future occasions of extreme floods.

Issues Contended

Whether the construction was lawful and justifiable?

Whether the Court erroneously designated Mr. Kamal Nath as a respondent in this case?

Petitioner’s Contention

Concerning the primary point, the respondent never challenged that Mr. Kamal Nath’s family claims essentially the entirety of the Motel Company’s stock. Concerning the subsequent issue, the respondents contended that the Motel Company occupied with building exercises ashore in its control to defend the rent hold property.

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Moreover, the Divisional Forest Officer endorsed the inn’s structure procedure relying on the prerequisite that the office would not be liable for any expenses paid by the Motel Company.


The Public Trust Doctrine was talked about, and the Government of Himachal Pradesh submitted a patent break.

The Court likewise suppressed the rent deed, holding that the structure interaction did by the Motel the board was not supported, and the Motel the executives was requested to make up for the harm they caused and to re-establish the environmental harm.

Moreover, the court coordinated the Himachal Pradesh contamination control board to screen if untreated effluents are being tossed into the Beas stream, and the court guided the Motel the executives to pay heed not to discard untreated effluents into the waterway.


The leasehold region in which the inn is found is essential for the State Government’s ensured woods property.

The inn is situated on the right bank of the stream on the woodland property adding up to 26 bighas allowed to it by a rent deed dated April 11, 1994. A wooden scaffold across the spill channel interfaces the primary lodging property to the space procured by the 1994 rent deed.

The inn infringed on 22.2 Bighas of the land allotted to it in 1994. After the waterway was overwhelmed in 1995, the inn exhumed the stream’s left side channel (fundamental channel) to improve its ability. This was never really water from entering the channel on the right side.

The Motel Company had raised 190-meter-long wire confines along the riverbank. Dug trash is stacked up along the waterway’s banks. The left bank was dug and channelized widely to keep extreme focus stream away from the lodging. Digging of the waterway’s primary channel was cultivated by impacting enormous stones and eliminating trash.

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The normal channel’s mouth has been closed with wire confines and stone unloading. The structure work was not completed with the help of specialists. The inn’s structure work for channelizing the principal course has isolated the standard into two portions, every one of which can adjust its course once more.

Doctrine of Public Trust

In this example, the Supreme Court utilized the ‘Regulation of Public Trust.’ The hypothesis of public trust is an old lawful thought that states that some normal products, like streams, beaches, backwoods, and the air, are held in trust by the public authority for the overall population’s free and unlimited use.

These assets were either claimed by nobody (res Nullius) or by everybody in like manner under Roman law (Res Communious). In any case, in English custom-based law, the Sovereign may have these assets, however just somewhat; the Crown couldn’t give these properties to private proprietors if doing as such would endanger public interests in route or fishing. 

The Public Trust Doctrine is established on the idea that a few assets, like the air, ocean, water, and woodlands, are of such indispensable importance to the entire populace that it is ridiculous to make them private property.

As a blessing from nature, the previously mentioned assets ought to be made unreservedly accessible to everybody, paying little mind to their financial standing.

Under English Common Law, the public trust idea applied only to certain memorable purposes like route, exchange, and fishing. American courts, then again, have expanded the possibility of the public trust doctrine.

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The Supreme Court of California’s perspectives in the Mono Lake case exhibit the court’s obligation to shielding every regular asset, including new water, wetlands, and riparian trees.


The Supreme Court proclaimed that the Doctrine of Public Trust is a part of the customary law. The teaching’s significance to Indian law was additionally certified in Maharaj Singh v. Indian Oil Corporation and rehashed in M. I. Developers v. Radhey Shyam Sahu.

This convention sets up a structure for improving the viability of Environmental Impact Assessment laws and sets up the state’s commitment to defend the country’s normal assets.


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