Emory International Law Review

Police Powers and the Constitution of India: The Inconspicuous Ascent of an Incongruous American Implant
Arvind Datar,
Shivprasad Swaminathan Arvind. P. Datar, Senior Advocate High Court of Madras, B.Sc (Bombay); LL.B (Madras); CWA.Shivprasad Swaminathan is an Associate Professor Jindal Global University; B.S.L., LL.B (ILS-Pune); B.C.L (Oxford); D.Phil (Oxford).The authors wish to thank Navroz Seervai (Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court) in discussions with whom the central ideas of this Article took shape.

Res extra commercium is a doctrine introduced by Chief Justice Das of the Supreme Court of India in the 1957 case, State of Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, which has the effect of constricting the scope of fundamental rights by rendering as constitutional outcasts certain purportedly “immoral” or “noxious” activities. It does this by blocking these activities from falling within the purview of the protection of fundamental rights. At the core of this paper are three claims. First, it will be argued that though the court did not expressly spell it out, it was the doctrine of “police powers” (the specific conception of the doctrine advanced by Justice Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court in Mugler v. Kansas), which lies behind Chief Justice Das’s invocation of res extra commercium. Second, it will be argued that Chief Justice Das did not openly invoke the police power doctrine in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala because larger benches of the Supreme Court had earlier squarely rejected the import of the doctrine from American constitutional law (including one earlier abortive attempt by Chief Justice Das himself) because of the structural differences between the Constitutions of United States and India as a result of which, at the time the decision in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala was handed down, the jurisprudential climate was positively hostile to the doctrine. Curiously, however, the police power doctrine, now masquerading, as the doctrine of res extra commercium has come to be well ensconced in the constitution law of India virtually unchallenged for over four decades now. The reasons for this anomaly will be explored. Finally, the paper argues why the police power doctrine sought to be imported by Chief Justice Das under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium is incongruous with the scheme of the Indian Constitution.

If American decisions require to be used with caution, doctrines evolved by the U.S. Sup. Ct. in the context of the U.S. Constitution require to be scrutinised even more carefully before introducing them into our Constitution.

H.M. Seervai 11 H.M. Seervai, Constitutional Law of India: A Critical Commentary § 2.140, at 238 (4th ed. 2002).

I. Isolating the Issue

When a lawyer versed in the Constitutional Law of India—who is therefore no stranger to esoteric Latin incantations—hears the phrase res extra commercium, 2See infra Part III; Rudolf Sohm, The Institutes: A Textbook of the History and System of Roman Private Law § 59 (James Crawford Ledlie, trans., 3d ed. 1907) (“Certain things are prevented by a rule of law from being the objects of private rights. Such things are called ‘res extra commercium.’”). she would undoubtedly know it is a perilously nebulous phrase. Her disquiet would deepen when she is told that the perilously nebulous phrase is a shell covering a doctrine imported from U.S. constitutional law which is treated with great circumspection by the lawyers and scholars there and has been squarely rejected by several early decisions of the Supreme Court of India: the doctrine of police powers. 3See, e.g., Walter Wheeler Cook, What is Police Power?, 7 Colum. L. Rev. 322, 322 (1907) (stating that “[n]o phrase is more frequently used and at the same time less understood” than the phrase “police power”); 2 John W. Burgess, Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law: Goverment 136 (Gin & Co. 1902) (1890) (“[T]he police power of the commonwealth is the ‘dark continent’ of our jurisprudence.”); Joseph L. Sax, Takings and the Police Power 74 Yale L.J. 36, 36 n.6 (1965) (“The term ‘police power’ has no exact definition.” (citing Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 32 (1954))). “Regulatory takings,” an area of American Constitutional law most closely involving use of the police power doctrine, and also the one which will concern us most here in the present Article, has been routinely described in the literature as a “bewildering mess.” E.g., James Krier, The Takings-Puzzle Puzzle, 38 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1143 (1994) (“[T]he opening cliché in most of the scholarly commentary is that the law in this area is a bewildering mess.”). The disquiet would give way to perplexity upon learning that, despite the odds stacked up so heavily against the doctrine of res extra commercium, it is now so well ensconced in the constitutional law of India, that hardly anyone has questioned its soundness in the last seven decades. 4Arvind P. Datar, Privilege, Police Powers and Res Extra Commercium–Glaring Conceptual Errors, 21 Nat’l L. Sch. India Rev. 133, 134–36 (2009);

Res extra commercium is the verbal rubric for a doctrine that renders certain purportedly immoral or pernicious activities such as gambling, rural money-lending, and selling intoxicating liquor as constitutional outcasts. 5Res extra commercium was introduced in 1957 in the context of gambling in Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 720–22 (India). In 1971, it was extended to sale of intoxicating liquor in Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861, 868–69, 871–22 (India) (“[A]ctivities. which are criminal, or dealing in articles or goods which are res extra co commercium could not have been intended to be permitted by Article 19(1)(f) and (g) relating to fundamental rights to trade or business.” (citing R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720, 722 (India) (Chief Justice Das))). In 1977, the Indian Supreme Court extended the principle in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala to exclude rural money as trade or commerce. Himmatlal v. Maharashtra, A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 1825, 1839 (India). Therefore, these activities are not protected by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, which guarantees citizens the fundamental right to, “practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.” 6India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g.; Seervai, supra note 1, at 696; see infra Part II. In arguments before the Supreme Court of India, the government has sought, though unsuccessfully, to extend the doctrine to the trade in tobacco, as well. 7See Godawat Pan Masala Prods. I.P. Ltd. v. Union of India, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India). But see T.K. Abraham v. Travancore Cochin, A.I.R. 1958 (Ker.) 129 (India). The Kerala High Court struck a discordant note by holding that dealing in tobacco is also res extra commercium. Id. However, this doesn’t seem to have been followed elsewhere thereafter. Indeed, the government seems to invoke the doctrine in any matter that, by their estimate, involves an immoral activity. 8See, e.g., Maharashtra v. Indian Hotels & Rests. Assoc., (2013) 8 S.C.C. 519 (India). In this decision, the government of Maharashtra sought to invoke the doctrine of res extra commercium, though unsuccessfully, to justify a ban on dance bars, i.e. establishments serving alcohol along with dance performances by well-clothed female performers for their male patrons. Id.

Introduced by Indian Supreme Court Chief Justice Das in 1957 in Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 9R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720. the doctrine of res extra commercium, in the context of the gambling business, has become firmly established in the constitutional law of India. 10See, e.g., Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (India); Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Karnataka, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 911 (India); Shankar v. Deputy Excise & Taxation Comm’r, (1975) 3 S.C.R. 254, 275–76 (India). The Supreme Court of India briefly threatened the ascent of the doctrine in Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, 11Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1373 (India). which involved the constitutionality of the trade in liquor. Not only did the Supreme Court in Narula turn down the state’s invitation to extend the doctrine to trade in liquor, but the Court also expressed reservations about the congruity of the doctrine with India’s constitutional scheme. 12Id. at 1371. Chief Justice Subba Rao argued that the “approach leads to incoherence in thought and expression.” Id. This, however, did little to halt the ascent of the doctrine: Narula has now, for long, been seen as somewhat of an aberration. 13See Shankar, (1975) 3 S.C.R. at 274–82. The Court approved the doctrine of res extra commercium as sought to be introduced in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala and extended it to trade in liquor. Id. Justice Chandrachud noted that Narula struck a discordant note, flying in the face of precedent before it and hence cannot be regarded as authority on the incongruity of res extra commercium within the constitutional scheme of India. Id. at 277–78. The doctrine has grown in strength since. See, e.g., Himmatlal v. Maharashtra, A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 1825 (India); Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Karnataka, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 911 (India); Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26. It is only recently that some voices, in the form of dissenting Supreme Court opinions, can be heard calling to bring this well entrenched doctrine into question. 14See Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26 (Agrawal & Sinha, J.J., dissenting). Notwithstanding these dissenting voices, it is no exaggeration to say that the doctrine has assumed somewhat of an axiomatic status in the constitutional law of India. 15See generally Datar, supra note 4, at 134.

At the core of this Article are three claims. First, this Article will argue that though Chief Justice Das in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala did not expressly spell it out, the police power doctrine, imported from the constitutional law of the United States, was the invisible hand behind the doctrine of res extra commercium. More precisely, the conception of police powers advanced by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harlan in Mugler v. Kansas lies behind Chief Justice Das’s invocation of res extra commercium. 16See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 658–59 (1887). It is this conception of police powers, this Article argues, that serves to constrict the scope of fundamental rights and places certain forms of governmental regulations outside the purview of constitutional protection and judicial review. 17“Constriction” in this sense means a narrow reading of the fundamental right in question, obviating the inquiry of whether the regulation in question strikes a proper balance between individual liberties and social control. Second, this Article argues that Chief Justice Das did not openly invoke the police power doctrine in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala because larger benches of the Supreme Court had earlier expressly rejected the import of the American doctrine due to the structural differences between the two constitutions 18See Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 38 (India), for a discussion of the Supreme Court of India’s reservations about the police power doctrine in the 1950s. as a result of which the jurisprudential climate was positively hostile to the doctrine. 19See Seervai, supra note 1, at 239. In fact, Chief Justice Das had made earlier failed attempts to import the doctrine, 20See Chowdhury v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 68 (1950) (India). only to be faced with strong opposition from his brethren on the bench. 21See W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96–97 (1953) (India). Thirdly, it will be argued that the police power doctrine Chief Justice Das sought to import under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium is incongruous with the scheme of the Indian Constitution; it cannot perform the role assigned to it by Chief Justice Das—namely of blocking certain activities from falling within the purview of constitutional protection and rendering them constitutional outcasts.

Part II begins by setting out the nature of the freedoms guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) and the limitations that can be imposed on them under Article 19(6). This Part sets out the conceptual difference between two kinds of regulations of fundamental rights in the Constitution of India: ex ante “constrictions” of fundamental rights and ex post “restrictions” on fundamental rights imposable under Article 19(6). 22Compare India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g (protecting the right to practice any profession, carry on any occupation, trade, or business regarding freedom of speech), with id. art. 19, § 6 (restricting Article 19(1)(g) rights to the interests of the “general public”). It will then be argued that the concept of res extra commercium seeks to impose ex ante constrictions on fundamental rights as opposed to ex post restrictions, thus purporting to obviate the need to impose ex post restrictions under Article 19(6).

Part III will seek to disambiguate the phrase res extra commercium. This Article argue that the Indian Supreme Court uses the term in two entirely different senses, which we label as REC1 and REC2 to avoid confusion. REC1 stands for a Roman law doctrine bearing the same label 23William Burdick, The Principles of Roman Law and Their Relation to Modern Law 310 (1918). that enumerates types of things or artifacts that cannot conceptually be “owned” and, hence, cannot be objects of commerce; they are extra commercio. 24Sohm, supra note 2, at § 59. This Part argues that while REC1 could form the basis for imposing ex ante constrictions, the concept neither purports to, nor is it geared to impose ex ante constrictions, on moral grounds, i.e. on the grounds that the activity in question is allegedly morally repugnant. 25See Datar, supra note 4, at 145. On the other hand, REC2 blandly states the effect of ex ante constrictions on fundamental rights and hence does not even purport to be a ground or justification for such constriction. The moral prohibitory task is performed by some hidden, invisible hand mechanism. This Article argues that when Chief Justice Das introduced the phrase res extra commercium in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, he meant to use the REC2 conception, in which the invisible hand mechanism already performs the moral prohibitory task. 26See Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 720–22 (India).

Part IV argues that the invisible hand mechanism underlying Chief Justice Das’ invocation of res extra commercium (“REC2”) was nothing but the police power doctrine. It hypothesizes that Chief Justice Das’s particular notion of police powers is the one advanced by the U.S. Supreme Court in Mugler v. Kansas. 27 Compare id. (Das, C.J.), with Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 658–59 (1887) (Harlan, J.). This notion of police powers served to place ex ante constrictions on the Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, by allowing certain interferences with property in the interest of health, safety,or morals. 28See Mugler, 123 U.S. at 658–59; U.S. Const. amend. V.Res extra commercium as originally conceived by Chief Justice Das in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala was just a nebulous place holder—a misleading tag—for what really is an ex ante prohibition justified by the police power doctrine. This hypothesis will be substantiated in Part VI.

Part V sets out the role of the police power doctrine in American constitutional law. Judicial opinions and the literature clearly discern a wide and narrow scope of the concept. On the wide scope reading, the police power includes all governmental power left to the states by the U.S. Constitution, thus making it co-extensive with the residual sovereignty of the states. 29See, e.g., Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419, 458 (1827); New York v. Miln, 36 U.S. (11 Pet.) 102, 147 (1837); Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 (16 Pet.) , 625 (1842); See Christopher Supino, The Police Power and “Public Use”: Balancing the Public Interest Against Private Rights through Principled Constitutional Distinctions, 110 W. Va. L. Rev. 711 (2008). On the narrow scope reading, the police power is not coterminous with the sovereignty of the states but is cabined to the government’s power to ensure public health, safety, morals and general welfare. 30See Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 53 (1905) (“Those powers, broadly stated and without, at present, any attempt at a more specific limitation, relate to the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the public.”); Mugler, 123 U.S. at 658–59; Commonwealth v. Alger, 61 Mass. (7 Cush.) 53, 85 (1851). For the present, it is the narrow scope reading that concerns this Article, since it is this reading that has been in play in the Fifth Amendment cases, where Mugler v. Kansas is the paradigm, 31See Mugler, 123 U.S. at 658–59. and also the one Chief Justice Das sought to import into Indian jurisprudence. 32E.g., Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 720–22 (India). Here, this Article dwells a little longer on Mugler by emphasizing three aspects of Justice Harlan’s opinion: (1) the valid subject of the exercise of police power; (2) the mode of exercise thereof of the power; and (3) the effect of a valid exercise of police powers.

Part VI argues that by introducing the notion of ex ante prohibition for gambling in RMD Chamarbaugwala under the label of res extra commericum, Chief Justice Das was actually importing the police powers doctrine into India: more specifically, the narrow conception of police powers. As a result, the police power doctrine was introduced through the back door, unnoticed, dressed with the label: “res extra commmercium.” This Article will also explain why Chief Justice Das had to import the police power doctrine under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium.

Part VII argues that the detractors and supporters of the concept of res extra commercium have, for the most part, been talking past each other as they have had two entirely different conceptions of the doctrine in mind. 33Compare Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368 (India), with Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (Sinha, J., dissenting) (India). The few detractors of res extra commercium have believed all along that it is the REC1 conception that Chief Justice Das introduced and argued, over the decades, that the Roman law conception of res extra commercium (REC1) simply cannot create restrictions on any activity in the name of morality. 34See Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371; Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26. On the other hand, the supporters of the doctrine, including later Indian Supreme Court judgments, have not made an effective attempt to illustrate how the police power doctrine, which is the invisible hand mechanism behind their conception of res extra commercium (REC2), can be accommodated within the scheme of the Indian Constitution. There is a price paid for this misunderstanding. The police power doctrine and the ex ante constrictions premised thereupon have become ensconced as a part of the Indian Constitution without the least judicial reflection about the congruity of the doctrine with the Indian Constitution. 35See Shankar, A.I.R. 1975 S.C. at 1121; Khoday Distilleries, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 911. Despite a line of Indian Supreme Court decisions from the 1950s specifically rejecting the import of the police power doctrine from U.S. constitutional law, 36See Chowdhury v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 68 (1950) (India); W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96–97 (India). and despite no justificatory argument having been advanced in its favor, the police power doctrine has made a silent entry into Indian constitutional law, 37See Datar, supra note 4, at 147. disguised under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium and entrenched itself almost as if by adverse possession. 38See id.

Part VIII examines the conceptual ambiguity in Indian Supreme Court judgments dealing with res extra commercium. This is equally the problem with both species of judgment, namely, those prohibiting certain spheres of activity by applying the doctrine, as well as those refusing to extend the doctrine to certain activities. Underlying this ambiguity is an imprecise characterization of the nature of the fundamental rights found in Article 19(1)(g) and its interplay with reasonable restrictions under Article 19(6). 39Compare India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g, with id. art. 19, § 6. As we will see here, even the latest decisions of the Supreme Court reflect this conceptual confusion about the doctrine of res extra commercium.

Part IX argues that Mugler-type ex ante constrictions on fundamental rights under Article 19 are not permissible for three reasons: (1) Constitutional liberties are not capable of ex ante constrictions, and since what Article 19 guarantees are liberties, they cannot be subject to a Mugler-type of constriction; (2) if ex ante constrictions are permissible on the grounds of health, safety,and morals, the whole idea of reasonable restrictions would be redundant; and (3) concerns leading to constriction of fundamental rights in Mugler are absent in India.

This Article concludes that the primary gripe with the doctrine of res extra commercium is that it completely blocks the courts from undertaking any such inquiry or balancing. If the argument in this Article is accepted, it would be for the courts to actually undertake such balancing and determine where the balance of reasonableness lies. Where the balance of reasonableness lies for many of the activities currently ex ante constricted under the doctrine of res extra commercium is something that would be beyond the scope of this Article. Each restriction would have to be examined individually, and no abstract standards can be laid down in advance. It is highly unlikely that the pervasive restrictions on many activities currently countenanced would, in their existing form, pass muster under a reasonableness test under Article 19(1)(6). Perhaps the greatest advantage of jettisoning res extra commercium doctrine would be to remove a convenient fig leaf under which the state hides its numerous invasions on fundamental freedoms under Article 19.

II. Constitutional Outcasts and Ex Ante Restrictions on Fundamental Freedoms

Part III of the Constitution of India enumerates fundamental rights and freedoms available to citizens. 40India Const. pt. III. Part III of the Constitution consists of Articles 12–35. Id. Article 13 specifies that any law contravening any of the fundamental rights enumerated in Part III will be invalid. Id. art. 13. Article 32(1) allows the party whose fundamental rights are violated to approach the Supreme Court directly for redressal. India Const. art. 32, § 1. In Gopalan, Chief Justice Kania opined that Article 13 was inserted out of abundant caution. Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 34 (India). However, in Sajjan Singh v. Rajasthan, Justice Hidayatullah questioned Chief Justice Kania on this point by arguing that Article 13 is hardly redundant, as the Chief Justice makes it out to be. Singh v. Rajasthan, A.I.R. 1965 S.C. 845 (India). Whatever view one may take on the broader debate about the redundancy or otherwise of the provision, there is no denying the fact that even in the absence of Article 13, the judiciary would have had the power of constitutional review. India Const. art. 13. Articles 19(1)(a)–(g) guarantee certain fundamental freedoms to citizens. 41India Const. art. 19, § 1, cls. a–g. The Constitution of India clusters the provisions of Part III under distinct headings. Articles 19–22 are clustered under the heading “Right to Freedom.” Id. arts. 19–22. The fundamental freedoms in Article 19 include: (1) freedom of speech and expression; (2) freedom to assemble peaceably without arms; (3) freedom to form associations; (4) freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India; (5) freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India. Id. art. 19 § 1, cl. f; and the freedom to carry on any occupation, trade or business. Id. art. 19, § 1, cls. a–f, g. The reasonable limitations which can be imposed on these fundamental freedoms are enumerated in Articles 19(2) to (6). Id. art. 19, §§ 2–6. The freedom to hold and dispose property was a fundamental freedom under Article 19(1)(f), but this freedom was deprived of its status as a fundamental right by the Forty-Fourth amendment in the year 1978 and was moved to Article 300A as an ordinary constitutional right. The Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978 (India). Articles 19(2)–(6) enumerate the grounds that the state may use to reasonably restrict the freedoms contained in Articles 19(1)(a)–(g). 42India Const. art. 19, §§ 2–6. The term “reasonableness” is incapable of exact definition. See, e.g., Madras v. V.G. Row, A.I.R. 1952 S.C. 196, 200 (India). It was held that the each restriction ought to be tested individually as no general or abstract standard applicable to all cases could be devised. Id. Article 19(1)(g) provides that citizens shall have the right to carry on any “profession”, “occupation”, “trade,” or “business.” 43India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g. For the sake of economy and convenience, profession, occupation, trade and business will be referred to as “activity.” The limits to this right are found in Article 19(6), which empowers the state to enact “law” to impose “reasonable restrictions” on any such trade activity or business “in the interests of the general public.” 44India Const. art. 19, § 6 (“Nothing in sub-clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause . . . .”) The phrase “in the interests of the general public” has been subject to a wide interpretation encompassing within its ambit considerations of public health, safety,and morals. 45See Papanasam Labour Union v. Madura Coats, A.I.R. 1995 S.C. 2200 (India). The Supreme Court held the court’s approach to assessing the reasonableness of restrictions should be dynamic—alive to the felt need of the society. Id. After much uncertainty on the point in the first decade of the Constitution, i.e the 1950s, the Supreme Court held in 1960 that “restriction” under clauses 19(2) to 19(6) could also include “prohibition.” Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430, 436 (India); see Mun. Corp. of Ahmedabad v. Usmanbhai, A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 1205, 1212 (India) (“The expression ‘in the interest of general public’ is of wide import comprehending public order, public health, public security, morals, economic welfare of the community . . . .”). The standard test of challenging an alleged invasion of the freedom under Article 19(1)(g) involves assessing whether the law passes the reasonable restriction test under Article 19(6). 46See Chintamanrao, A.I.R. 1951 S.C.118 at 119. Setting out the test for reasonableness in Justice Mahajan opined:[T]he limitation . . . should not be arbitrary or of an excessive nature beyond what is required in the interests of the public. The word “‘reasonable”‘ implies intelligent care and deliberation that is the choice of course which reason dictates. Legislation which arbitrarily or excessively invades the right cannot be said to contain the quality of reasonableness and unless it strikes a proper balance between the freedom guaranteed in Art[icle] 19(1)(g) and the [sic] social control permitted by cl[ause] 6 of Art[icle] 19(6), it must be held to be wanting in that quality.Id.

The doctrine of res extra commercium acts as a constriction on Article 19(1)(g)—and it operates in a manner clearly distinct from reasonable restrictions under Article 19(6). 47See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 628, 631 (India). The effect of the doctrine of res extra commercium is that some, purportedly, “immoral” activities do not come within the purview of the fundamental right to carry on trade and business under Article 19(1)(g). 48See id. This was a petition related to R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala where the Supreme Court held:[A]s regards gambling competitions, the petitioners before us cannot seek the protection of Art. 19(1)(g), and that the question whether the restrictions enacted in ss. 4 and 5 and Rr. 11 and 12 are reasonable and in the interest of the public within Art. 19(6) does not therefore arise for consideration.Id. Such activities are blocked ex ante from falling under Article 19(1)(g), thus obviating the need for the state to enact specific “law” under Article 19(6) to impose reasonable restrictions. In other words, Article 19(1)(g) is constricted so as to make such activities fall completely outside its purview. 49See Seervai, supra note 1, at 694–95. Despite how onerous or unjust the regulation on such trade or activity may thought to be, they cannot be judicially reviewed for whether they infringe fundamental rights because the trade in such activity falls outside the purview of the Constitution of India. 50Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1951) 52 Crim. L.J. (H.C.) 1140 (India). In fact, the courts have shied away from dignifying these activities with the terms “trade” or “business,” instead to label them as “traffic”. 51Shankar v. Dy. Excise & Taxation Comm’r, A.I.R. 1975 S.C. 1121 (India). When considering the constitutional question on the freedom to carry on any activity, such activity is acknowledged to fall under Article 19(1)(g), and the law that circumscribes the freedom is tested on the anvil of reasonableness under Article 19(6). 52See Madras v. Row, A.I.R. 1952 S.C. 196, 200 (India). Conceptually, the limitations under Article 19(6) can be understood as ex post restrictions of the freedoms under Article 19(1)(g). 53See Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430, 436 (India). A complete prohibition on an activity would also fall within the ambit of Article 19(6) and hence count as an ex post restriction. Id. On the other hand, when an activity is blocked from falling under Article 19(1)(g), there is an ex ante constriction of Article 19(1)(g) as opposed to an ex post restriction. 54See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 628, 631 (India). In imposing ex ante constrictions, the Supreme Court blocked a class of activity from falling under Art 19(1)(g) thus obviating the need to impose reasonable restrictions on them by “law” enacted under Article 19(6) or the need to assess whether the restriction is indeed a reasonable one. 55See id. As a result, activities thought to be res extra commercium are invariably liable to far greater control by the state, than those falling under Article 19(1)(g), and are not entitled to any of the protections guaranteed to activities under Article 19(1)(g) either. 56See generally M.P. Jain, Indian Constitutional Law 1036 (2005). Utlimately, the effect of the doctrine of res extra commercium is that it renders certain activities constitutional outcasts. 57See Ugar Sugar Works Ltd. v. Delhi Admin., A.I.R. 2001 S.C. 1447, 1449–52 (India). The Ugar Sugar Works Ltd. v. Delhi Admin. case is an example of where the Supreme Court of India interpreted Article 14, which guarantees “equality before the law or the equal protection of laws,” to proscribe unfair discrimination and arbitrariness regardless of whether the activity in constitution was res extra commercium. India Const. art. 14; Ugar Sugar Works Ltd., A.I.R. 2001 S.C. at 1447 (India). An activity which is res extra commercium and hence a constitutional outcast is nevertheless entitled to this sole constitutional protection.

Two important consequences are predicated on the declaration of these activities as res extra commercium. First, the activities in question cannot claim the protection afforded to interstate trade and commerce. 58See India Const. arts 301–07 (containing the right to interstate trade and commerce). The courts have held that the right to interstate trade and commerce can only be claimed by activities that fall within the ambit of Article 19(1)(g). 59See, e.g., Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (India); see also Datar, supra note 4, at 144. This has led to some absurdities, as Datar points out. Datar, supra note 4, at 144. Second, the courts have developed the exclusive privilege theory, 60See id. 134–36. stating that where an activity is immoral or pernicious, the state has the exclusive privilege to deal in the activity in question 61See C.S.S. Motor Serv. v. Madras, A.I.R. 1953 (Madras H.C.) 279 (1952) (India), cited with approval in Ahmad v. Uttar Pradesh, 1954 A.I.R. 728, 740 (India). and the revenue raised by the state from any such activity is a form of rent rather than a tax or fee. 62See Satpal & Co. v. Lt. Governor of Delhi, A.I.R. 1979 S.C. 1550, 1557 (India).

III. Two Concepts of Res Extra Commercium

The scheme of rendering some activities constitutional outcasts with ex ante restrictions operates under the tantalizingly confusing label: res extra commercium. 63The first known use of res extra commercium by the Supreme Court of India was in Mullick v. Debabrata Mullick, (1951) 38 A.I.R. S.C. 293, 301 (India). However, the phrase did not denote anything close to what Chief Justice Das’s R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala opinion, which purported to denote by it. Id.; Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 628 (India). In 1957, Chief Justice Das first introduced the res extra commercium label in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala with the notion of ex ante prohibition on gambling. 64See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 S.C.R. at 720 (India). The label has stuck, and adherents and detractors of ex ante restrictions on a class of activities have centered their debates around the concept of res extra commercium. 65Id.; Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368 (India); Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (2003) (India). Chief Justice Das relied on the notion of res extra commercium to justify imposing ex ante prohibitions on certain purportedly immoral activities. 66R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 699 (India). The detractors have sought to contend that the notion of res extra commercium cannot justify the imposition of ex ante prohibitions on any activity even if it is admittedly an immoral one. 67Chief Justice Subba Rao was the earliest critic of the doctrine. Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1368 (India). Nearly four decades later, Justice Sinha was the most vociferous critic of the doctrine. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26 (India). It may seem that the Chief Justice Das and the detractors of the doctrine of res extra commercium as a justification of ex ante prohibition have a genuine debate. 68As shall be seen in Parts VII and VIII, despite later generations of Supreme Court Justices realizing the hidden police powers behind the doctrine of res extra commercium, they continue to criticize it. However, it turns out that the adherents and detractors are actually talking past each other; the reason for this being that the adherents and detractors have had two entirely different concepts of res extra commercium in mind. In what follows, the two concepts of res extra commercium will be outlined.

Translated literally from Latin, the phrase res extra commercium means “not the object of commerce.” 69Daniel R. Coquillette, Mosses From an Old Manse: Another Look at Some Historical Property Cases About the Environment, 64 Cornell L. Rev. 761, 803 (1979); Sohm, supra note 2, § 59, at 302. The phrase res extra commercium has been employed in Indian Supreme Court judgments to denote two very distinct notions. One of them purportedly provides a ground for imposing ex ante restrictions, REC1; and the other merely states the effect of ex ante restrictions, REC2. While REC1 does purport to be a ground for imposing ex ante restrictions, the concept is not geared to do the moral prohibitory task it purports to. On the other hand, REC2 blandly states the effect of ex ante restrictions on some activity and does not purport to be a ground or justification for imposing ex ante restrictions. From a consideration of the judicial opinions on the point, it appears that the detractors of res extra commercium have taken the phrase to refer to REC1, while the supporters (beginning with Chief Justice Das) understand the phrase to refer to REC2.

REC1 stands for the Roman law doctrine that enumerates the types of thing or artifact which cannot conceptually be “owned” and hence cannot be “alienated.” 70Burdick, supra note 23, at 310. Accordingly, they are not objects of commerce; they are extra commercio. 71The terms nostro patrimonio and extra nostrum patrimonium were used interchangeably with in commercio and extra commercio, elsewhere also referred to as alicujus in bonis and nullius in bonis. Introduction to The Institutes of Justinian 36 (Thomas Sandars trans. 1883). In Justinian’s Institutes of Roman Law, only three classes of entity are conceptually res extra commercium: (1) res divini; (2) res publicae; and (3) res ominum communes. 72Id.Res divini comprises res sacrae (churches) and res religiosae (cemeteries). 73Id.; Datar, supra note 4, at 145. Over the centuries, these have fallen out of the extra commercio category as they can now be owned. 74Id. at 145.Res publicae denotes that what is used by the state for discharging sovereign functions cannot be objects or resources that are owned. 75The Parliament building, for instance, would fall under the class of res publicae.Res omnium communes comprises the things which belong to the community as a whole, 76Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law 197 (1922). such as air, river, the sea, etc., and thus cannot be owned individually. 77See generally Philip E. Steinber, The Social Construction of the Ocean, in 78 Cambridge Studies in International Relations 91 (Smith et al. eds., 2001). Wild animals which are referred to with the label “ferrae naturae” would fall under this class. Id. To this we could add the category of res nullius: things that belonged to no one. 78See Gerald Torres, Who Owns the Sky?, 19 Pace Envtl L. Rev. (Special Issue) 515, 529 n.4’ (2002) (citing Daniel R. Coquillette, Mosses From an Old Manse: Another Look at Some Historical Property Cases About the Environment, 64 Cornell L. Rev. 761, 803 n.196 (1979)). These were things that were believed could not be “owned” and are extra commercio that they can not be the subject of commerce. 79Coquillette, supra note 69, at 803. It bears emphasis that each of the above classes of things are conceptually barred from being the subject of ownership and alienation in Roman law, not because of some overarching moral justification proscribing their ownership or alienation, 80See Datar, supra note 4, 145 (“It is clear from these categories that morality had no role to play in the classification of property as res extra commercium.”). but because of the conceptual embargo in the ownership of these type of things. 81The concept of res extra commercium has lately come to assume great significance among international lawyers. See, e.g., Antonio Cassese, International Law in a Divided World 376–77 (1986); Kemal Baslar, The Concept of Common Heritage of Mankind in International Law, in 30 Developments in International Law 40–41 (1998). Even the most morally repugnant objects could, on Justinian’s classification, be conceptually capable of being owned and alienated and, hence, would be in commercio: objects of trade and commerce. 82Introduction, supra note 71, at 36. REC1, then, cannot play any real part in either explaining or justifying the scheme of ex ante prohibition on grounds of moral repugnancy. The original concept of REC1 was never designed to be a moral prohibitory device. 83See Mullick v. Mullick, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 293, 301 (India). The only doctrine familiar to constitutional jurisprudence that plays the role of an ex ante moral prohibitory device is the police power doctrine. 84See infra Parts V, VI. When Chief Justice Das introduced the idea of res extra commercium, he did not mean to use it in the sense of REC1 at all. Unfortunately, several generations of Supreme Court judges who succeeded him—particularly those who opposed the notion of ex ante prohibitions—mistook him as having introduced the REC1 notion resulting in great conceptual confusion.

Separately, the other concept of res extra commercium, REC2, does not purport to be a ground for imposing any ex ante moral prohibition but rather states the effects of ex ante restrictions. If no further justification for ex ante prohibition is forthcoming, the ex ante prohibitions, referred to by REC2, hang in the air and remain unjustified. A judge relying exclusively on REC2 does not justify the ex ante prohibition but gives its consequence—a fait accompli. In other words, some other unnamed principle must do all the work for justifying the imposition of ex ante prohibitions, of which the effect of that activity becomes extra commercio. Thus REC2 simply describes the effect of an ex ante prohibition, justifiable on some other independent ground. A judge relying on REC2, and nothing more, runs the risk of making a circular argument because the question of what makes the case REC2, the argument that the activity in question is ex ante prohibited, remains alive. In the next Part, it will be argued that while introducing the idea of res extra commercium in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, Chief Justice Das was referring to the REC2 conception, not REC1, and the invisible hand mechanism that effected the moral prohibition was the unnamed police power doctrine: an import from American constitutional jurisprudence.

IV. The Invisible Hand of Police Powers

The invisible hand mechanism in Chief Justice Das’ judgment was nothing but the police power doctrine, or at least a certain conception of that doctrine imported from American constitutional thought. 85It will be argued in Part V, that the particular conception of police powers that purports to have this effect is the one propounded in the landmark case of Mugler v. Kansas. See infra Part V. Further, this particular conception of police powers has traditionally been used to introduce ex ante constrictions on certain fundamental rights regarding certain matters in interest of health, safety, or morals. 86As we shall see in Part V, police powers have traditionally meant different things to different people. One conception of the doctrine is the protection of health, safety,and morals. Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887) (“Lawful state legislation, in the exercise of the police powers bf the State, to prohibit the manufacture and sale within the State of spirituous, malt, vinous, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors, to be used as a beverage, may be enforced against persons who, at the time, happen to own property whose chief value consists in its fitness for such manufacturing purposes, without compensating them for the diminution in its value resulting from such prohibitory enactments.”); see also U.S. Const. amend. V.Res extra commercium (REC2) as originally conceived by Chief Justice Das in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 87R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 A.I.R. S.C. at 699 (India). was just a nebulous place holder—a misleading tag—for what really is an ex ante regulation justified by the police power doctrine.

Still Chief Justice Das’s opinion does not even on one occasion refer in the original to the police power doctrine. 88While R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala did not specifically invoke the police power doctrine, one Supreme Court decision before it purported to do so. See Bharucha v. Excise Comm’r, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 220, 223 (India) (“There is in this position an assumption of a fact which does not exist, that when the liquors are taken in excess the injuries are confined to the party offending. The injury, it is true, first falls upon him in his health, which the habit undermines; in his morals, which it weakens; and in the self-abasement which it creates. But as it leads to neglect of business and waste of property and general demoralisation, it affects those who are immediately connected with and dependent upon him. By the general concurrence of opinion of every civilized and Christian community, there are few sources of crime and misery to society equal to the dram shop, where intoxicating liquors, in small quantities, to be drunk at the time, are sold indiscriminately to all parties applying.” (quoting Crowley v. Christensen, 137 U.S. 86, 90–91 (1890))). However, the effect of Bharucha, unlike the doctrine of res extra commercium, does not constrict the scope of Article 19. India Const. art. 19; Bharucha, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 220 (India). Indeed, it could be argued that the Court could have arrived at its conclusion it invoking the police power doctrine. Bharucha, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 223 (India). The Court upheld restrictions on free trade under Article 19(6), which it could have done without having to invoke the police power doctrine at all. See Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1371–72 (India) (commenting on Bharucha, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 220 (India)). In Narula, Chief Justice Subba Rao stated that: “Indeed, a perusal of the entire judgment shows that the Court conceded the fundamental right but held that the said regulation operated as a reasonable restriction on the said rights.” Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1372 (citing Assam v. Kidwai, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 414, 418 (India))). The only place where the police power doctrine is mentioned is derivative, or second hand, when he quotes from the High Court of Australia case Mansell v. Beck, where the validity of a New South Wales statute proscribing the sale of lotteries from other states was in question. 89R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 716 (India) (quoting Mansell v Beck (1956) 95 CLR 550 (Austl.)). Section 21(1) of the New South Wales Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 Act states: “Whosoever sells or offers for sale or accepts any money in respect of the purchase of any ticket or share in a foreign lottery shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 25 penalty units.” Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 (NSW) s 21(1) (Austl.). In the Australian Constitution, the commerce clause provides: “On the imposition of uniform duties of customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.” Australian Constitution s 92. In Mansell v. Beck, Justice Williams held that the freedom of interstate trade and commerce under Section 92 of the Australian Constitution did not extend to activities suppressible by police power as a public nuisance or as pernicious. 90See Mansell, 95 CLR at 596 (Austl.) (“[L]otteries were, from the moment of its first settlement, common and public nuisances and that, in general, it was impossible to conduct them except in violation of the law. Indeed it was impracticable for any person to conduct a lottery without achieving the status of a rogue and a vagabond.”). It must be noted that this idea of the police powers as the power of the State to supress nuisance or pernicious or immoral activities is one most familiar to U.S. constitutional law; we shall study this in greater detail in the Part V. See infra Part V. We shall also see in Part VI that before R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, Chief Justice Das had made abortive attempts to import the doctrine into Indian constitutional law. See infra part VI. He effectively blocked, ex ante, some trades from falling within Section 92 of the Australian Constitution’s guarantees of inter-state trade and commerce. 91Justice Taylor, equating the sale of lottery tickets to the sale of counterfeit coins or stolen goods or forged passports, stated:[A]lthough legislation prohibiting such transactions may, possibly, be thought to be legally justifiable pursuant to what has, on occasions, been referred to as a “police power,” I prefer to think that the subjects of such transactions are not, on any view, the subjects of trade and commerce as that expression is used in  and that the protection afforded by that section has nothing to do with such transactions even though they may require, for their consummation, the employment of instruments, whereby inter-State trade and commerce is commonly carried on.Mansell, 95 CLR at 586, 594 (Austl.) (opinion of Taylor, J.). An analysis of Chief Justice Das’s reasoning leaves no doubt that it is very much the police power doctrine that he sought to import to India, 92Chief Justice Das’s terminology of extra commercium seems to have misled criticsbecause what was found in Mansell was the Roman law doctrine of REC1 and not complaints that Chief Justice Das invoked the judgment wrongly. Id. at 550; see infra note 96. to ex ante block morally “pernicious” activities such as gambling from falling within the purview of any type of constitutional protection.

We find it difficult to accept the contention that those activities which encourage a spirit of reckless propensity for making easy gain by lot or chance . . . and eventually disrupt the peace and happiness of his humble home could possibly have been intended by our Constitution makers to be raised to the status of trade, commerce or intercourse and to be made the subject-matter of a fundamental right guaranteed by Art. 19(1)(g).

. . . .

. . . . It is not our purpose, nor is it necessary for us in deciding this case to attempt an exhaustive definition of the word “trade,” “business,” or “intercourse.” We are, however, clearly of opinion that whatever else may or may not be regarded as falling within the meaning of these words, gambling cannot certainly be taken as one of them. We are convinced and satisfied that the real purpose of Arts. 19(1)(g) and 301 could not possibly have been to guarantee or declare the freedom of gambling. Gambling activities from their very nature and in essence are extra-commercium although the external forms, formalities and instruments of trade may be employed and they are not protected either by Art. 19 (1)(g) or Art. 301 of our Constitution. 93Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 A.I.R. S.C. 699, 720 (India).

A bare reading of Chief Justice Das’ opinion makes it plain that res extra commercium is used in the sense of REC2 with the constriction of Article 19(1)(g) being justified on the ground that the activity in question is immoral and noxious. 94The constriction of Article 19 (1)(g) is meant to narrow of the scope of the provision regarding certain activities (the ones that were purportedly immoral and noxious) and forces them to fall outside its purview. India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. (g). This is exactly what Justice Williams had done with Section 92 i.e. the interstate trade and commerce clause and lotteries which will be argued in the next section that this is what the police power doctrine does with some fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution. Mansell, 95 CLR at 550 (Austl.); See infra Part V. Chief Justice Das does not justify the ex ante constriction on gambling on the ground that the activity in question is covered by REC1. 95See supra Part III. In fact, the REC1 conception does not figure anywhere in Chief Justice Das’s ’ judgment. 96Chief Justice Das’s terminology of extra commercium seems to have misled critics because what was found in Mansell v Beck was the Roman law doctrine of REC1, and not complaints that Chief Justice Das invoked the judgment wrongly. Mansell v Beck (1956) 95 CLR 550 (Austl.); M.P. Singh, Freedom of Trade and Commerce in India 115 (1985) (arguing that Mansell v Beck does not stand for the proposition that trade in lotteries is res extra commercium). Chief Justice Das does not explicitly tell us which doctrine empowers him to ex ante prohibit an immoral activity other than quoting from Justice Williams’s judgment in Mansell v. Beck. 97R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 A.I.R. S.C. at 716 (India) (citing Mansell, 95 CLR at 570 (Austl.)). It will be argued that the invisible hand mechanism behind Chief Justice Das’s judgment was the police power doctrine—it sought to justify ex ante prohibitions on some activities for being repugnant to morality. 98Though this argument does not play any further role in the present paper, it would not be out of place to mention that Chief Justice Das’s reliance on Mansell v Beck as an authority on police powers is questionable. The doctrine has been squarely rejected in several Australian High Court judgments. See, e.g., Amalgamated Soc’y of Eng’rs v Adelaide S.S. Co. (1920) 28 CLR 129, 146 (Austl.) (“But we conceive that American authorities, however illustrious the tribunals may be, are not a secure basis on which to build fundamentally with respect to our own Constitution. While in secondary and subsidiary matters they may, and sometimes do, afford considerable light and assistance, they cannot, for reasons we are about to state, be recognized as standards whereby to measure the respective rights of the Commonwealth and States under the Australian Constitution.”). “Whatever opinion we may hold as to the sufficiency of this reasoning, as applied to the United States Constitution, is really immaterial; for we have to construe the Australian Constitution.” Roughley v New South Wales (1928) 42 CLR 162, 197 (Austl.) (Higgens, J.) (“Moreover, in Australia we have to apply a specific provision of the constitution (Section 92), not to apply the subtle refinements of the doctrine as to ‘police power.’”).

V. Police Powers and American Constitutional Law

A. Two Readings of Police Powers

This police power doctrine, originally emanating from 17th and 18th century European scholarship, but more particularly through the works of Samuel Pufendorf, William Blackstone, and Emerich de Vattel, has had a profound impact on American legal and political thought. 99See generally Santiago Legarre, The Historical Background Of The Police Power, 9 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 745 (2007) (explaining the historical development of the police power doctrine in the judicial arena and legal scholarship). As Santiago Legarre notes, ever since Chief Justice John Marshall coined the term in Brown v. Maryland, 100Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419, 443 (1827). “the police power has been a pivot of American constitutional thinking.” 101See Legarre, supra note 99, at 745. However, for its frequent and unhesitant invocation by the courts and scholars, the exact scope of the concept of police powers and its role in American constitutional law has been found to be difficult to pin down with any precision. 102See, e.g., Cook, supra note 3, at 322 (“No phrase is more frequently used and at the same time less understood . . . .”); Sax, supra note 3, at 36 n.6 (citations omitted) (citing Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 32 (1954)) (stating that the term “police power” has no exact definition). With the layers of obscurity and obfuscations it is clothed under, 103See Thomas Reed Powell, The Police Power in American Constitutional Law, 1 J. Comp. Legis. & Int’l L. 160 (1919) (“[S]uch remarks [that police powers is a dark continent] are helpful to readers already familiar with the toil & turmoil, which controversies over the police power have engendered. They may solace those, who have sought in vain to evolve some definition more precise. But they do not chart the way for explorers, to whom the police power is still an unknown land.”). Justice Hidayatuallah also quoted Reed Powell with approval in Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh. Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1951) 52 Crim. L.J. (H.C.) 1140 (India) (“The amount of literature on ‘due process’ & ‘police power’ is colosal [sic] & the conflict in the decisions bewildering.”). the doctrine deserves every bit of Burgess’s tag of the “dark continent” of American jurisprudence, which serves as the “repository or everything for which our juristic classifications can find no other place.” 104 Burgess, supra note 3, at 136 (“[T]he police power. . . is the ‘dark continent’ of our jurisprudence. It is the convenient repository of everything for which our juristic classifications can find no other place.”).

A detailed study of the police power doctrine would far outstrip the scope of this Article. Steering well clear of such an ambitious project—which we would be in no position to accomplish satisfactorily within the confines of this paper—we will endeavour here, the modest task of adumbrating briefly the contours of the doctrine only to the extent necessary to point out the aspect of police powers which Chief Justice Das has sought to imported to Indian constitutional law, and devote some detail to it. This truncated inquiry will suffice for the purposes of the project. 105The aim of this Article is to point out the incongruity of the specific conception of police powers the Supreme Court of India sought to import with the structure of the Constitution of India. This task is made somewhat easier since the uses to which the Indian courts have purported to put the doctrine are limited, thus making it tolerably clear which aspect of police powers was sought to be imported. 106See infra Part VI.

In both scholarly literature and judicial opinions, one can discern two readings of the concept of police powers: one with a wide scope and the other with a narrow-scope. 107See Legarre, supra note 99, at 785–93. In the wide-scope reading, the police power includes within it the sum total of the powers of government left to the states by the U.S. Constitution, thus making it co-extensive with the “residual sovereignty” of the states. 108D. Benjamin Barros, The Police Power and the Takings Clause, 58 U. Miami L. Rev. 471, 475 (2004); see also Cook, supra note 3, at 329. Though this reading does have many takers, it may be problematic: If police powers are equivalent to the whole gamut of residuary powers of the state, the term “police powers” is deprived of all utility as a classifying label. See Christopher Supino, The Police Power and “Public Use”: Balancing the Public Interest Against Private Rights through Principled Constitutional Distinctions, 110 W. Va. L. Rev. 711, 724 (“First, to the extent that police power is a mere synonym for state power, the term possesses almost no analytical utility . . . [a] second reason to reject this rationale is the fact that the text of the Brown v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden opinions strongly suggest that Justice Marshall meant the term ‘police power’ to connote something vastly more limited than the entire panoply of the states’ ‘residual sovereignty.’” (citations omitted)) It will not, however, be the purpose of this Article to argue why the wide scope reading is unsatisfactory. The wide-scope reading was endorsed by Chief Justice Marshall in Brown v. Maryland and was followed in the early federalism cases. 109See, e.g., Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419, 444 (1827); see also New York v. Miln, 36 (11 Pet.) U.S. 102, 128 (1837); Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 (16 Pet.) , 625 (1842); Supino, supra note 114 at 723,728 ; On the narrow-scope reading, the concept of police powers is not coterminous with the sovereignty of the states but is rather cabined in the government’s power to ensure public health, safety, morals and general welfare. 110E.g., Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 53 (1905) (“[B]roadly stated and without, at present, any attempt at a more specific limitation, relate to the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the public.”); see also Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560, 560 (1991) (“The States’ traditional police power is defined as the authority to provide for the public health, safety, and morals . . .”); Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, 31 (1885) (“[T]he power of the State, sometimes termed its police power, to prescribe regulations to promote the health, peace, morals, education, and good order of the people, and to legislate so as to increase the industries of the State, develop its resources and add to its wealth and prosperity.”); Christopher Wolfe, Moving Beyond Rhetoric, 57 Fla. L. Rev. 1065, 1075 (2005) (“[T]raditional police powers . . . extend to the protection of public health, safety, welfare, and morals.” (citations omitted)). The earliest use of the narrow scope of police power was in Alger, which was a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 1851. Commonwealth v. Alger, 61 Mass. (7 Cush.) 53 (1851). It was in Alger that the power of eminent domain was clearly distinguished from police power and this was expanded upon in Mugler v. Kansas, which is one of the most significant cases premised on the narrow scope reading of police powers. Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887). The narrow scope reading of the doctrine has been pressed into service in the cases involving the “takings clause.” 111The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, includes the “takings clause,” which provides, “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” U.S. Const. amend. V. However, where property is taken in pursuance of police powers, no compensation is payable under this clause. See generally Sax, supra note 3, at 36. This power has been thought to be an avatar of the common law power to abate nuisances. 112See, e.g., Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 124, 147 (1876); see also David A. Thomas, Finding More Pieces for the Takings Puzzle: How Correcting History Can Clarify Doctrine, 75 U. Colo. L. Rev. 497, 544 (2004). Thomas points out that “police power regulations are valid if related to preserving or protecting the public health, safety, morals, or welfare is rooted in the nuisance-suppression origins of police power.” Id. He argues that the roots go back to the common law principle of Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, i.e., use your own property so as not to injure another’s property. Id. at 503; see Herbert Broom, A Selection of Legal Maxims, Classified and Illustrated 365 (1874), for a discussion of the history and ambit of the doctrine of sic utere tuo. See W.P. Wade, Subjection of Private Rights to Police Power, 6 S.L. Rev. N. Series 59, 62 (1881), and Arvo Van Alstyne, Taking or Damaging by Police Power: The Search for Inverse Condemnation Criteria, 44 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1 (1970), for discussion on the relationship between sic utero tuo and police power. For the present purpose, it is the narrow-scope reading that concerns this Part, since it is this reading, which has been in play in the takings cases and also the one sought to be imported to India. 113In Part VI, this Article argues that it is the narrow scope reading of police powers which Chief Justice Das sought to import in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium. Accordingly, throughout the present paper the idea of police powers will be used to denote the narrow-scope concept.

B. Mugler v. Kansas

The early locus classicus of the narrow reading of police powers is Mugler v. Kansas. 114Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623. At issue in Mugler was the ’state of Kansas’s prohibition on the sale and manufacture of intoxicating liquors. 115Id. at 628.

It was argued that since the claimant’s breweries were erected when it was lawful to engage in the manufacture of beer and were of little value for other purposes, the regulation destroyed, or at least materially diminished, the value of that property, and thus amounted to a taking which could not constitutionally be enforced without the payment of just compensation. 116Sax, supra note 3, at 38; see also U.S. Const. amend. V (“Nor shall any person . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”); Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623.

Writing the unanimous opinion for the court, Justice Harlan rejected this claim. 117Mugler, 123 U.S. at 669. Justice Harlan held that the challenged law fell within the scope of police powers since public health, public morals, and public safety, may be endangered by the general use of intoxicating drinks—which he held was a noxious use of property. 118Id. As the prohibition of intoxicating liquor fell within the ambit of the police power doctrine, he argued, it would not amount to a “taking” of property, which requires just compensation. 119Id. at 668–70. It bears emphasis that Justice Harlan’s judgment rested on the proposition that the takings clause would not be attracted all:

The present case must be governed by principles that do not involve the power of eminent domain, in the exercise of which property may not be taken for public use without compensation. A prohibition simply upon the use of property for purposes that are declared, by valid legislation, to be injurious to the health, morals or safety of the community, cannot, in any just sense, be deemed a taking or an appropriation of property for the public benefit. 120Id. at 668–69.

C. Unpacking Mugler v. Kansas

Three aspects of Justice Harlan’s opinion need to be identified and kept distinct: (1) the valid subject of the exercise of police power; (2) the mode of exercise thereof of the power; and (3) the effect of a valid exercise of police powers.

1. The Valid Subject of the Exercise of Police Power

In examining the valid subject of exercise of police powers, Justice Harlan looks to the quality of the claimant’s activity. 121This is typical of all judgments that endorse the narrow-scope reading of police powers, which is directed at maintaining health, safety,and morals. Here, Justice Harlan distinguishes innocent from noxious uses. 122Mugler, 123 U.S. at 669. The noxious use doctrine can be traced back to Justice Shaw’s opinion in Alger. Commonwealth v. Alger, 61 Mass. (7 Cush.) 53, 86 (1851) (Shaw, J.) (arguing that an interference with a property involved in a noxious use does not need compensation because it doesn’t amount to a taking at all); see also Barros, supra note 108, at 481. If the use of a property is “noxious,” the government can abate such use, empowered by the police power doctrine, without it constituting a taking or an exercise of eminent domain. 123See generally Sax, supra note 3, at 48 (arguing that the “noxious use” test “has a beguiling simplicity . . . and a perpetual appeal.”). Thus, if a regulation was held to be a valid exercise of police powers, no compensation was payable, no matter how much the regulation affected the value of private property since the action in question would not amount to a taking of property. 124See, e.g., Hadacheck v. Sebastian, 239 U.S. 394, 395 (1915) (zoning ordinance proscribing manufacture of bricks held to not amount to taking of propertyeven though value of land diminished almost completely); See William Treanor, The Original Understanding of the Takings Clause and the Political Process, 95 Colum. L. Rev. 782, 797 (for a discussion of cases where the narrow scope of the doctrine of police powers was used.) See also Ernest Freund, Police Power 268–269, 568–69(1904).

In Justice Harlan’s estimation, because the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor was ’a noxious use due to its detrimental effect on society, its abatement would not amount to a taking of property involving the exercise of eminent domain. 125Mugler, 123 U.S. at 668–69; see generally Sax, supra note 3. An exercise of eminent domain, on the other hand was to be accompanied by just compensation. As such, the government would be under no obligation to compensate even if the abatement effectively stripped the property of all value. 126See Gardner v. Michigan, 199 U.S. 325, 330 (1905) (holding that the abatement of a noxious use is not a “taking” of property, since what is noxious can hardly be regarded as “property” at all). William Treanor’s assessment of the reasoning in Mugler emphasizes on this aspect of Justice Harlan’s opinion: “If something was so harmful as to justify regulation under the police power, it could be regulated without compensation, regardless of the effect of the regulation on value.” 127See Treanor, supra note 124, at 801

2. The Mode of the Exercise of Police Power

The second aspect underlying Justice Harlan’s judgment pertains to the mode used to exercise police powers. 128This aspect of Justice Harlan’s judgment assumes special significance in the context of the present Article as it will be argued later in Part VI that in R.M.D. Charmarbagwala Chief Justice Das seeks to employ the police power doctrine in the very same mode that Mugler sought to, and that such a mode of exercise of police powers is incongruous with the scheme of the Constitution of India. Infra Part VI. Justice Harlan’s police powers test turns upon whether the government has asserted a proprietary right for itself in the affected property. 129Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623. It could amount to a “taking” only if a proprietary right was affected. Underlying Justice Harlan’s reasoning is the view that the regulation in Mugler did not amount to a “taking,” because it did not appropriate proprietary rights but merely a restricted the uses of property that are deemed to be dangerous for the community. 130The first justification finds resonance in Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion in Mahon. Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 417 (1922) (Brandeis, dissenting). This distinction between appropriation of proprietary rights and circumscription of use of property must ultimately rest on an implicit distinction between freedoms relating to use of property and proprietary rights attached to it. 131John Humbach, A Unifying Theory for the Just-Compensation Cases: Takings, Regulation and Public Use, 34 Rutgers L. Rev. 243, 253 (1982) (“[A] taking of property under the just-compensation clause is almost always found when government acts impair or destroy legally actionable rights; conversely, such a taking is almost never found where the government’s acts merely affect the freedom to use and enjoy.”). Humbach argues, “the distinction between rights as against others and freedoms to use appears to fix the line between takings and regulation.” Id. at 253–54. In making this distinction, Humbach relies on Wesley N. Hohfeld’s celebrated taxonomy of jural relations. Id. Implicit in Justice Harlan’s argument is that while the police powers exercised in the case affected freedoms pertaining to use of property, it did not affect the proprietary rights and hence does not amount to takings since, conceptually, takings pertain only to proprietary rights, not freedoms or liberties concerning the use of property. 132Id. at 253–54.

To help illuminate the difference between freedom and right, it would be useful to briefly visit Wesley Hohfeld’s typology of jural relations. 133See Wesley N. Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied in Judicial Reasoning, 23 Yale L.J. 16 (1913) [hereinafter Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions]; Wesley N. Hohfeld Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied in Judicial Reasoning, 26 Yale L.J. 710 (1917); see also Nigel Simmonds, Introduction to W.N. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, at ix (2001). Hohfeld’s typology comprised eight legal quantities. 134The eight fundamental legal conceptions stemmed from Hohfeld’s dissatisfaction with the idea that all the jural relations can be reduced to rights and duties. Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions, supra note 133, at 29. The tendency to think so, he thought, was the chief obstacle to the clear comprehension and resolution of legal issues. Id. Hohfeld’s eight fundamental legal conceptions were sui generis, according to him, and were best illustrated as opposites and correlatives rather than through formal definitions. Id. at 30. Hohfeld believed that overused familiar terms such as “right” and “duty” conceal the difference between these eight different legal quantities. 135Id. at 30 (“The strictly fundamental legal relations are after all sui generis; and thus it is that attempts at formal definition are always unsatisfactory . . . .”). Hohfeld’s motivation was to disambiguate the confusion caused by the shorthand use of “rights” and “duties” for the entire range of jural relations. 136Id. at 28. “[C]hameleon-hued words,” argued Hohfeld, “are a peril both to clear thought and lucid expression.” 137Id. at 29.

Here, we will focus on four of the legal quantities elaborated upon by Hohfeld, namely, right, duty, freedom and liberty. Hohfeld divided jural relations into sets of jural correlatives 138Id. at 36. and jural opposites. 139Id. at 30. Glanville Williams called them “contradictories” and so did a vast number of other legal philosophers. See Glanville Williams, The Concept of Legal Liberty, 56 Colum. L. Rev. 1129, 1135 (1956); see also Matthew H. Kramer, Rights Without Trimmings, in A Debate over Rights 8 (Matthew H. Kramer, N. Simmonds, & Hillel Steiner eds. 2002); Philip Mullock, The Hohfeldian Jural Opposite, 13 Ratio 158 (1971). Jural correlatives entail each other. That is to say, each pair of correlatives always exist together. 140Arthur L. Corbin, Legal Analysis and Terminology, 29 Yale L.J. 163, 166 (1919). Therefore, person A with a right implies a duty in person B. 141Id.; Glanville, supra note145, at 1135. Jural opposites are quantities that deny or exclude each other. None of the pairs of opposites can exist together; therefore, if A has a duty to do something, he cannot at the same time have the liberty to either do it or not. 142Corbin, supra note 140, at 166; Glanville, supra note 136, at 1135. The four legal quantities we are concerned with here, namely, right, duty, liberty, and no-right, can be understood in the following scheme: 143See Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions, supra note 133, at 30, for Hohfeld’s complete typology in tabulated form.

Right (Claim) --------------- opposite of ------------------ No right

Right (Claim) --------------- correlative of --------------- Duty

Liberty (freedom) ---------- opposite of ----------------- Duty

Liberty (freedom) ---------- correlative of -------------- No right

Freedom (liberty) is the antithesis or jural opposite of duty. 144The notions of freedom and liberty are used interchangeably in the Article. Hohfeld himself uses the term liberty, but we prefer the term freedom. As long as an agent has no duty imposed by law, she has the liberty to not perform the act in question. 145Id at 32, 33. Explaining the correlativity of freedom and “no right,” Hohfeld points out that where one person has a liberty, another has “no right” to stop him from doing what he is doing. 146Id at 33. And the jural opposite of liberty is duty, which means that a person’s liberty ends at the point she has a legal duty in regard to the subject matter, over which I could otherwise have exercised my liberty. 147See Albert Kocoureck, Jural Relations 15 (2d ed. 1928). Freedom (liberty) can be understood as the natural capacity of each person to act for herself. 148Id. at 15–16. In the absence of natural capacity, it is pointless to speak of liberty. For instance, it would be pointless to claim that a person has the liberty to fly, because no one has the natural capacity to do so. What a person has the capacity to do, she has the liberty to do. 149To use the analogy of a building structure—the walls of the structure are like duties and liberty is like the space enclosing it. The law cannot create liberties any more than the constructors can create the space enclosing the walls. The claim is that a person has the freedom to do anything that she has the natural capacity to do unless a duty is imposed by law to curtail the liberty. Thus freedom or liberty has the character of an extra legal quantity; in that in the absence of a duty specifically imposed by law the person has the legal liberty to do or abstain from doing the act in question as she pleases. This is well captured in one of those pithy aphorisms as old as the Common Law itself, which many a lawyer has internalized—“whatever is not prohibited is permitted.” The “source” of the liberty under the law is never a law; though it may be curtailed by a legal duty. See Kocoureck, supra note 147.

Justice Harlan’s opinion presupposes this distinction between liberties and rights. Circumscriptions of the liberty to use property, his claim implies, is distinct from the invasion of a proprietary right. This distinction is countenanced by Hohfeld’s typology. 150Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions, supra note 133, at 35. Hohfeld unequivocally recognizes that a liberty of a property owner could be circumscribed while his proprietary rights are secure, since the two legal quantities are distinct and severable. 151Id. The hypothesis that such a distinction underlies Justice Harlan’s opinion gains support from Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion in Mahon: 152The legal position set out in Mugler was considerably shaken by Justice Holmes’ majority opinion in Mahon. Compare Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 415 (1922). Mahon held, contrary to Mugler, that even an exercise of police powers could violate the just compensation clause and amount to a taking. Id. Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion, however, invokes and relies on Justice Harlan’s opinion in Mugler. Id. at 416, 418 (citing Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 668–69 (1887))). Mahon is discussed in greater detail later in the present section.

Every restriction upon the use of property imposed in the exercise of the police power deprives the owner of some right theretofore enjoyed, and is, in that sense, an abridgment by the State of rights in property without making compensation. But restriction imposed to protect the public health, safety,or morals from dangers threatened is not a taking. The restriction here in question is merely the prohibition of a noxious use. The property so restricted remains in the possession of its owner. The state does not appropriate it or make any use of it. The State merely prevents the owner from making a use which interferes with paramount rights of the public. Whenever the use prohibited ceases to be noxious—as it may because of further change in local or social conditions—the restriction will have to be removed and the owner will again be free to enjoy his property as heretofore. 153Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 416–17 (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion rests on the argument that preventing a noxious use does not, in any way, impinge on the proprietary rights of the owner. 154Id. The proprietary interests of the owner survive the state circumscribing the liberty to use it. Once the circumscription on the use of the property is lifted, the owner once again has the liberty to use the property.

To be sure, the interplay of jural relations underlying Justice Harlan’s opinion is somewhat obscured because imprecise language characterizes the underlying relations. 155See Humbach, supra note 131, at 254. Indeed, Justice Harlan is not the only judge to have been less than precise about jural relations. 156Id. The immediate impression one may get from a reading of Justice Harlan’s opinion is that he “distinguishes ‘takings’ from exercises of the police power by artful definition of the terms ‘taking’ and ‘property.’” 157Sax, supra note 3, at 39. However, this impression is inaccurate at best and misleading, at worst. 158See Gardner v. Michigan, 199 U.S. 325, 330–31 (1905) (holding that the abatement of a noxious use is not a “taking” of property at all, since what is noxious can hardly be regarded as “property” at all).

3. The Effect of Valid Exercise of Police Power: Constriction of the Fundamental Right

The third aspect of the effect of Justice Harlan’s opinion is the constriction of the Fifth Amendment right, so that the deprivation of property by the exercise of police powers was held to fall beyond the amendment’s protection against takings without just compensation. 159See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 668 (1887). Once a deprivation of property amounts to a taking, the obligation to pay compensation is self-executing. 160See First English Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Cnty. of L.A., 482 U.S. 304, 315 (1987); William B. Stoebuck, Police Power, Takings, and Due Process, 37 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1057 (1980) One way to uphold a deprivation without payment of compensation would be to deny that it constitutes a “taking” at all. 161David A. Thomas, Finding More Pieces for the Takings Puzzle: How Correcting History Can Clarify Doctrine, 75 U. Colo. L. Rev. 497, 500 (2004) (labeling a government act as an exercise of police power automatically creates an exemption from the obligation of having to pay compensation under the Fifth Amendment). The effect of police powers is to render a certain class of activity a constitutional outcast by imposing an ex ante embargo and block it from falling within the ambit of a constitutionally protected right. 162See Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623. “Ex ante” restriction and “constriction” are terms not employed in the literature on the subject or by the courts. However, from the explanation of ex ante regulations as discussed in Part VI, it would be palpably clear that the effect of Mugler was to impose an ex ante regulation on the right to receive just compensation under the Fifth Amendment, thus constricting the scope of the right. See discussion infra Part VI.

D. Mahon: Questioning Mugler

The legal position set out in Mugler was considerably shaken by Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 163Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393 (1922). which has been described as the “‘foundation of [American] “regulatory takings jurisprudence.’” 164Keystone Bituminous Coal Assoc. v. DeBenedictis, 480 U.S. 470, 506, 508 (1987) (Rehnquist, C.J., Powell, O’Connor & Scalia, JJ., dissenting) (citing Penn Cent. Transp. Co. v. New York, 438 U.S. 104, 127 (1978)). Contrary to Mugler, Mahon held that even an exercise of police powers could violate the just compensation clause and amount to a “taking.” 165Mahon, 260 U.S. at 415–15.

Mahon concerned a Pennsylvania statute prohibiting coal companies from any mining that threatened the safety of surface owners due to cave-ins. 166Id. at 412. Propounding what has come to be known as the “diminution of value” test, Justice Holmes held that a regulation that “goes too far” in reducing the value of a landowner’s property constitutes a taking and requires compensation, even when the regulation purports to be in exercise of the police power. 167Id. at 416 (Holmes, J.) (“We are in danger of forgetting that a strong public desire to improve the public condition is not enough to warrant achieving the desire by a shorter cut than the constitutional way of paying for the change. As we already have said, this is a question of degree—and therefore cannot be disposed of by general propositions.”). When a regulation turns into a taking is a question of “degree.” 168Id. Justice Holmes expressing his disquiet about Justice Harlan’s formulation of police powers observed that the police power doctrine “must have its limits or the contract and due process clauses are gone [and] private property disappears.” 169Id. at 413. Thus, Mahon served as the harbinger of a new takings regime. 170See id. at 393. It is still widely thought that since Mahon, the Supreme Court has been unable to define clearly what kind of regulations go “too far.” 171Stoebuck, supra note 160, at 1063. “Mahon is hopelessly at odds with Mugler. The United States Supreme Court placed in its constitutional grab-bag a doctrine contrary to Mugler’s, though the Court to this day refuses to acknowledge this contradiction.” Id.; see also Treanor, supra note 124, at 745 (“Since that decision[Mahon], the Supreme Court has been unable to define clearly what kind of regulations run afoul of Holmes's vague standard.”).

Justice Brandeis’s Mahon dissent reiterated what was essentially Justice Harlan’s view in Mugler. 172Mahon, 260 U.S. at 416–22 (Brandeis, J., dissenting). Reiterating the “noxious use” theory underlying Mugler, 173See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887). Justice Brandeis opined: “The restriction here in question is merely the prohibition of a noxious use. The property so restricted remains in the possession of its owner. The state does not appropriate it or make any use of it.” Thus, he held that the interference with property would not amount to a compensable taking. 174Mahon, 260 U.S. at 417.

The precise relationship between Mahon and Mugler and where that leaves the takings jurisprudence in America is a vexed issue, 175See, e.g., Sax, supra note 3, at 37 ( “The principle upon which the cases can be rationalized is yet to be discovered by the bench: what commentators have called the ‘crazy-quilt pattern of Supreme Court doctrine’ has effectively been acknowledged by the Court itself . . . .” (footnotes omitted) (quoting Allison Dunham, Griggs v. Allegheny County in Perspective: Thirty Years of Supreme Court Expropriation Law, 1962 Sup. Ct. Rev. 63)); See generally Thomas A. Hippler, Comment, Reexamining 100 Years of Supreme Court Regulatory Taking Doctrine: The Principles of “Noxious Use,” “Average Reciprocity of Advantage,” and “Bundle of Rights” from Mugler to Keystone Bituminous Coal, 14 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 653 (1987); Frank I. Michelman, Property Utility and Fairness: Comments on the Ethical Foundations of “Just Compensation” Law, 80 Harv. L. Rev. 1165 (1967); Joseph Sax, Takings, Private Property and Public Rights, 81 Yale L.J. 149 (1972); Stoebuck, supra note 160. which is well beyond the scope of this Article. However, there is one proposition that Mahon seems to have established quite unequivocally: It altogether abolished the idea of ex ante regulations in respect of the takings clause. 176Mahon, 260 U.S. at 416. No exercise of police power could, in and of itself, qualify to block an activity from constituting a taking. This brief discussion of police powers is far from comprehensive, but it suffices for this Article. The next Part argues that in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala Chief Justice Das imported the police power doctrine as understood in Justice Harlan’s opinion in Mugler. 177See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887); Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699 (India).

VI. Res Extra Commercium: Police Powers by Another Name

A. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala: Mugler by Another Name?

While introducing the notion of ex ante prohibition on gambling in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala under the label of res extra-commercium, Chief Justice Das was really importing the police power doctrine, more specifically, the narrow scope conception of police powers. 178See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701. While it is the invisible hand of police powers that did all the work, it did so under the rubric of res extra-commercium. 179Though separated by centuries, Chief Justice Das’s opinion in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, although not using the language of police powers, closely mirrors Samuel Pufendorf’s view that regulations suppressing prodigality and gambling are valid exercises of police powers. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701 (India); see Legarre, supra note 99, at 756 (“But now this Power we are here speaking of, may, I think, be reduc’d properly enough to three Heads: First, to the Right of making Laws to direct such a Proportion in the Use and Consumption of certain Goods and Commodities, as the State of the Commonwealth requires. Secondly, to the Right of levying Taxes. Thirdly, to the Exercise of the Transcendental Propriety. . . . To the first Head we may reduce all Sumptuary Laws . . . Laws against Gaming, and Prodigality . . . As, disregard Laws that forbid certain Subjects to possess certain Kinds of Goods . . . .” (emphasis added) (quoting Samuel Pufendorf, The Law of Nature and Nations 825–26 (1672))). Chief Justice Das had introduced the doctrine of police power through the back door, without anyone noticing it, as he dressed it with the label, res extra-commercium. 180R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701 (India). Now, the interesting questions that arise here include: Why did Chief Justice Das not openly argue for the police power doctrine as a justification for ex ante prohibitions on certain activities? Why did he have to dress the police power doctrine with the label of res extra commercium? Fortunately, the answers to these questions are not too far to seek.

B. Why Chief Justice Das Did Not Openly Invoke the Police Power Doctrine in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala

At the time R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala was decided, the overwhelming judicial opinion was against importing the police power doctrine into India. 181See Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. at 27 (India). The most significant hurdle in the way of Chief Justice Das openly invoking the police power doctrine was the Supreme Court’s judgment in Gopalan v. Madras. 182See id. The received wisdom of the Gopalan era is aptly summarized in Seervai’s words, “our constitution has deliberately rejected the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution with the result that it is not necessary in India to evolve a doctrine of police power.” 183Seervai, supra note 1, § 2.138, at 238.

The issue in Gopalan was the interpretation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which provides that “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” 184India Const. art. 21. In Gopalan, the petitioner argued that the phrase “procedure established by law” should be understood as incorporating a due process constraint similar to that found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the American Constitution. 185U.S. Const. amend. XIV (“[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”). However, the Supreme Court, considering the drafting history of the Article 21 and the Constituent Assembly debates leading to it, rejected the argument. 186See generally Seervai, supra note 1, at 238 (“If American decisions need to be used with caution, doctrines evolved by the U.S. Sup. Ct. in the context of the U.S. Constitution require to be scrutinised even more carefully before introducing them into our Constitution.”). Early drafts of Article 21 had a “due process” clause instead of the clause “procedure established by law.” 187Manoj Mate, The Origins of Due Process in India: The Role of Borrowing in Personal Liberty and Preventive Detention Cases, 28 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 216, 221 (2010). B.N. Rau, the Chief Advisor to the Constituent Assembly, was advised by Justice Felix Frankfurter against the retention of the clause, given the potential of the clause to allow judicial impediments in enforcing social legislation. 188Id. at 222.Rau apparently was able to convince Ayyar, the crucial swing vote on the committee, of the potential pitfalls associated with substantive interpretation of due process, which Frankfurter had discussed extensively with Rau. Ayyar, in ultimately upholding the new position on the floor of the Assembly in December 1948, supported removing the due process clause on the grounds that substantive due process could “impede social legislation.” With the switch in Ayyar’s vote, the Drafting Committee endorsed Rau’s new preferred language-replacing the due process clause with the phrase according to the procedure established by law . . . .Id. This social legislation included legislation involving redistribution of resources, as well as legislation pertaining to a minimum-wage, workweek hours, and debt alleviation. 5 B. Shiva Rao, The Framing of India’s Constitution 233 (2004). Rau argued before the Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights that over forty percent of the litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court since the turn of the 20th century pertained to the due process clause and was likely to cause a similar flood of litigation if imported to India. 189Rao, supra note 188, at 232. There was also fear that a due process clause had the potential to privilege the “whims and vagaries of lawyers elevated to the judiciary” over the collective wisdom of the people through its elected representatives. 190Id. at 234. Finally, the drafters settled for a clause identical to the one found in the Japanese Constitution. 191Compare India Const. art. 21 (“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” (emphasis added)), with Nihonkoku Kenpō [Kenpō] [Constitution], art. 31 (Japan) (“No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.” (emphasis added)); see also Granville Austin, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation 131 (1966). The Supreme Court of India held that since the due process clause doctrine was expressly rejected, the police power doctrine was also automatically rejected by the makers of the Constitution of India. 192Seervai, supra note 1, at 238. The Supreme Court in Gopalan understood that due process clause and the police power doctrines operated in tandem, with one acting as a counterbalance to the other. 193See id. at 239.

The discussion of the meaning of “due process of law” found in Willis on Constitutional Law and in Cooley’s Constitutional Limitations shows the diverse meanings given to that expression at different times and under different circumstances by the Supreme Court of U.S.A so much so that the conclusion reached by these authors is that the expression means reasonable law according to the view of the majority of the judges of the Supreme Court at a particular time holding office. It also shows how the meaning of the expression was widened or abridged in certain decades. Moreover, to control the meaning so given to that expression from time to time the police power doctrine was brought into play. That doctrine, shortly put, is that legislation meant for the good of the people generally, and in which the individual has to surrender his freedom to a certain extent because it is for the benefit of the people at large, has not to be tested by the touchstone of the “due process of law” formula. 194Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 38 (India).

[W]hen that power was threatened with prostration by the excesses of due process, the equally vague and expansive doctrine of “police power,” i.e., the power of Government to regulate private rights in public interest, was evolved to counteract such excesses . . . . Roughly speaking, police power may be defined as “a [sic] right of a Government [sic] to regulate the conduct of its people in the interests [sic] of public safety, health, morals[,] [sic] and convenience . . . .” 195Id. 72–73, 100 (quoting William Bennett Munro, The Government of the United States: National, State, and Local 522 (5th ed. 1946)).

The Gopalan court held that both the due process and the police power doctrines have no place in the context of Article 21. “[F]inally, it will be incongruous to import the doctrine of due process of law without its palliative, the police power doctrine. It is impossible to read the last mentioned doctrine into [A]rticle 21.” 196Id. at 118.

Gopalan loomed large over the Supreme Court for nearly three decades before it was dislodged on some crucial aspects in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, 197Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597 (India). though the foundations for such a change could be thought to have been laid down in Cooper v. Union of India in 1969. 198Cooper v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1970 S.C. 564 (India). Following Cooper, the Supreme Court in Maneka Gandhi held that the protection under Article 21 includes a substantive protection against unreasonable deprivation of liberty. Later, in Sunil Batra v. Union of India, Justice Krishna Iyer pointed out that though the Constitution had no “due process” provision, yet “after . . . Maneka Gandhi the consequence is the same.” 199Batra v. Delhi Admin., A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1675 (India). Whatever view one takes of Article 21 and the due process clause, and its relationship to the police power doctrine, at the time Chief Justice Das handed down the judgment in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, the jurisprudential climate was positively hostile to planting the seeds of the police power doctrine. 200Does this mean that because Gandhi has read Article 21 to include the due process clause, the path for the entry of the police power doctrine in the Constitution has now been cleared? No such conclusion need follow at all. It must be noted, that though the language of due process that was used by Justice Krishna Iyer, the point of the court’s decision was to introduce substantive constraints on the government’s power to circumscribe the right to life. Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597 (India). Gopalan had denied any such constraints. Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 118 (India). From this it does not follow that an elaborate package of police powers and due process jurisprudence ought automatically be imported to India. In any event, Gandhi was a decision on Article 21, which does not have reasonable restrictions clause unlike Article 19 which did have a reasonable restrictions clause. Hence, if there is any scope for a police power doctrine under the law as altered by Gandhi, it will be in relation to Article 21 alone. Not in relation to Article 19(1) which has reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) to 19(6). See India Const. arts. 19, 21; Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597 (India). In his 1951 Sholapur Mills decision, Justice Bose strongly opposed the import of the concept of police power into India in these words: “I deprecate . . . the use of doubtful words like ‘police power,’ ‘social control,’ ‘eminent domain’ and the like.” 201Shrinivas v. Sholapur Spinning & Weaving Co., A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 119, 137 (Bose J., concurring) (India). Likewise, in 1954, Chief Justice Sastri in West Bengal v. Bose 202W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92 (1953) (India). ruled out any use of the Police Powers doctrine:

The American doctrine of police power as a distinct and specific legislative power is not recognised in our Constitution . . . . 203Id. at 92, 98.

To the same effect is Justice Mukerjea’s 1954 opinion in Chowdhury v. Union of India:

In interpreting the provisions of our Constitution, we should go by the plain words used by the Constitution makers and the importing of expressions like “police power,’ which is a term of variable and indefinite connotation in American law can only make the task of interpretation more difficult. 204Chowdhary v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 50, 56 (Mukerjea, J., dissenting) (India).

Chief Justice Das in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala would have been in no position to introduce the police power doctrine as this would have meant him overruling many landmark rulings of the Supreme Court that were dominant at the time and were handed down by Supreme Court benches larger than the one in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala. 205See, e.g., Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 118 (India); Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 92 (India); Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 56. Additionally, Chief Justice Das had, on an earlier occasion, made a futile attempt to introduce the police power doctrine, which came under criticism from his brethren on the Supreme Court. 206See Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 59 (Das, C.J., dissenting).

C. Chief Justice Das’s Earlier Attempt to Introduce the Police Power Doctrine and the Supreme Court’s Reaction

Prior to R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, Chief Justice Das had made one, though feeble, attempt to introduce the American police power doctrine in Chowdhary v. Union of India. 207Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 63–65. As it will be argued later, Chief Justice Das’s observations on the issue of police powers are obiter dictum. See infra note 225. This attempt received criticism from Justice Sastri in Bose since the Attorney General, appearing for the government, canvassed an argument identical to the one advanced by Chief Justice Das in Chowdhary. In Chowdhary, he attempted to explicitly introduce the doctrine without dressing it under the verbiage of res extra commercium. 208Id. Although obiter dictum, this attempt came under criticism from Chief Justice Sastri in Bose. 209See infra text accompanying notes 225–28.

At issue in Chowdhary was a statute nationalizing one of India’s largest textile mills in the wake of some labour disputes and a subsequent disruption in operations. 210Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 41, 45–46. The statute was constitutionally challenged under Articles 14, 19(1)(f) and Article 30. Article 14, the equality clause, is comparable to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 211Compare India Const. art. 14 (“Equality before law: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”), with U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1 (“No State shall . . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”). Article 19(1)(f) provided that citizens shall be free to use and dispose property. 212India Const. art. 19, § 1, (f).The use of past tense is deliberate. Article 19(1)(f) was deleted in 1978 and Article 31 was amended in 1954. The Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978, § 2, repealing India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. (f); The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, § 2, amending India Const. art. 31, § 2. The subsequent history of these provisions is immaterial for the purposes of this paper. Article 31 was the equivalent of the Takings Clause from the U.S. Constitution. 213Compare India Const. art. 31, § 2, repealed by The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, § 2 ([N]o property . . . shall be taken . . . or acquired for public purposes under any law . . . unless the law provides for compensation for the property taken . . . .”), with U.S. Const. amend. V (“[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”) As Chief Justice Das’s views on Article 31 will assume special significance in this Article—indeed, Chief Justice Das initially imported police powers through a Mugler-like interpretation of Article 31—it would not be out of place to discuss it in some detail. Article 31(1) provided that no person could be deprived of his property without the authority of law. 214India Const. art. 31 § 1. Article 31(2) provided that:

No property . . . shall be taken possession of or acquired for public purposes under any law authorizing the taking of such possession or such acquisition unless the law provides for compensation for the property taken possession of or acquired and either fixes the amount of compensation or specifies the principles on which, and the manner in which, the compensation is to be determined and given. 215Id. art. 31, § 2, repealed by The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, § 2.

Chief Justice Das read Articles 31(1) and 31(2) as “mutually exclusive.” 216W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96–97 (India). He read Clause (2) as “imposing limitations only on two particular kinds of deprivation of private property, namely, those brought about by acquisition or taking possession thereof,” and Clause (1) as “authorising all other kinds of deprivation with no limitation except that they should be authorised by law.” 217Id. Chief Justice Das purported to introduce that property taken in the exercise of police powers would not amount to a taking of property, and takings are only covered by Article 31(2) but exercises of police power are covered under Article 31(1). 218Chowdhary v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 63 (India).One can conceive of circumstances where the State may have to deprive a person of his property without acquiring or taking possession of the same. For example, in any emergency, in order to prevent a fire spreading, the authorities may have to demolish an intervening building. This deprivation of property is supported in the United States of America as an exercise of “Police Power.” This deprivation of property is different from acquisition or taking of possession of property which goes by the name of “Eminent Domain” in the American Law. The construction suggested implies that our Constitution has dealt with only the law of “Eminent Domain”, but has not provided for deprivation of property in exercise of “Police Powers.” I am not prepared to adopt such construction, for I do not feel pressed to do so by the language used in Art[icle] 31. On the contrary, the language of cl[ause] (1) of Art[icle] 31 is wider than that of cl[ause] (2), for deprivation of property may well be brought about otherwise than by acquiring or taking possession of it. I think cl[ause] (1) enunciates the general principle that no person shall be deprived of his property except by authority of law, which, put in a positive form, implies that a person may be deprived of his property, provided he is so deprived by authority of law. No question of compensation arises under cl[ause] (1).Id. A similar argument underlies the takings regime led by Mugler v. Kansas. Indeed, it will be argued, Chief Justice Das’s argument closely mirrors Justice Harlan’s in Mugler.

In effect, Chief Justice Das argues that a deprivation of a property in exercise of police powers is not a taking at all and would fall outside the constitutional protection of Article 31 because Article 31(1) does not offer any protection at all. 219Id. In support of the proposition, Chief Justice Das explicitly and ostensibly relies on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Mahon. 220Id. at 63–64 (citing Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 123 U.S. 393 (1922)). Oddly, however, the proposition he really relied on is closer to Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion than Holmes’ majority opinion, and therefore, closer to Mugler. 221See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887). Ironically, it is Chief Justice Sastri’s opion in Bose expressly rejecting Chief Justice Das’s reasoning that identical to Justice Holmes’s opinion in Mahon. In Mahon, Justice Brandeis, relying on Mugler v. Kansas, argued that no exercise of police powers could ever amount to an exercise of eminent dominant. 222Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 123 U.S. 393, 417 (1922) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). Justice Holmes had brought this proposition into question by holding that when exercise of police powers went too far, it would amount to a taking and hence was an exercise of eminent domain. Id. at 415 (majority opinion). Hence, though he does not do so ostensibly, in Chowdhary, Chief Justice Das obliquely relies on Mugler rather than Mahon. 223For Indian judgments prior to Chowdhary, albeit not of the Supreme Court of India that do rely on Mugler specifically, see infra text accompanying notes 242–46.

In W. Bengal v. Bose, Chief Justice Sastri regarded Chief Justice Das’ views on Article 31 as obiter dictum and justified the statute under the police power doctrine but nevertheless struck down the statute for violating Article 14. 224W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96 (India). Nevertheless, he agrees with Chief Justice Das on Article 31 because the Attorney General had adopted the gist of Chief Justice Das’s opinion in his argument. 225Id. Chief Justice Sastri, in terminology not very different from that used by Justice Holmes in Mahon, argued:

There are several objections to the acceptance of this view. But the most serious of them all is that it largely nullifies the protection afforded by the Constitution to rights of private property and, indeed, stultifies the very conception of the “right to property” as a fundamental right. 226 Id. at 97.

Chief Justice Sastri, also, in no uncertain terms, expressed his disquiet about the police power doctrine, which Chief Justice Das claimed, formed the basis of Article 31.

[A]ccording to Das J’s. reading of that clause, the Constitution-makers have provided for no indemnification of the expropriated owner. Why ? Because, it is said, deprivation under cl[ause] (1) is an exercise of “police power.” This, to my mind, is fallacious. You first construe the clause as conferring upon the State acting through its Legislature unfettered power to deprive owners of their property in all other cases except the two mentioned in cl[ause] (2), and then seek to justify such sweeping and arbitrary power by calling it “police power.” 227Id.

Justice Sastri’s disquiet with the police power doctrine resonated with Justice Bose, who argued:

With the utmost respect I deprecate, as I have done in previous cases, the use of doubtful words like “police power”, “social control”, “eminent domain” and the like. I say doubtful, not because they are devoid of meaning but because they have different shades of meaning in different countries and because they represent powers which spring from widely differing sources. In my opinion, it is wrong to assume that these powers are inherent in the State in India and then to see how far the Constitution regulates and fits in with them. 228Shrinivas v. Sholapur Spinning & Weaving Co., A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 119, 137 (India). See generally Suchindran Baskar Narayan, Vivian Bose and the Living Constitution: A Tribute, 5 Indian J. Const. L. 1, 3 (2011).

It will be argued in the next Part that despite the weight of authority stacked up against the implant of the doctrine in the constitutional law of India, Chief Justice Das never abandoned the police power doctrine. In R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, he brought back the police power doctrine, now in the context of Article 19(1)(g) and made as an ex ante constriction of that provision. 229Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, [ ] (India). However, this time he did not refer to it openly as police powers; he called it res extra commercium instead.

D. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala: Mugler Reincarnate

When R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala came up for consideration, the jurisprudential climate was hostile for planting the seeds of the police power doctrine into Indian constitutional law. Thus, Chief Justice Das could not have just imported the doctrine without overruling several landmark Indian judgments, a practically impossible task. 230Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court where the full strength of the bench sits to hear cases, the Supreme Court of India typically hears cases in benches of two or three (called division bench) or benches of five or more (constitution benches). A case can only be overruled by a bench of larger strength. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, which was a judgment of a five judge bench of the Supreme Court, could not have overruled the judgments speaking against police powers. Moreover, although all of this remains in the realm of conjecture, it is probably safe to assume that a unanimous judgment—which is what Chief Justice Das got in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala—would have been impossible had he invoked the police power doctrine. In fact, given that Gopalan was decided by a bench larger than the one deciding R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala and Bose was decided by a bench equal to R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala could not have overruled either of those judgments critical of the police power doctrine. 231Gopalan was decided by a full strength of the Supreme Court which in 1950 was six judges. Bose was decided by a bench of five judges, which was also the strength of the bench deciding. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala. In what bears all appearances of having been a way around the embargo, Chief Justice Das introduced the very same concept, albeit clothed in a different linguistic dressing. 232Datar, supra note 4, at 146. Chief Justice Das’ was a subtle semantic gambit and going by the subsequent history of res extra commercium in India, one would have to conclude—a successful one. 233Id. at 146–47. Rather than argue for the police power doctrine, with the very likely consequence of finding himself in a minority, he silently brought in it, by labelling it as res extra-commercium. 234 R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701, 720.

While introducing the notion of ex ante prohibition in respect of gambling in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala under the label of res extra-commericum, Chief Justice Das was importing the police power doctrine, or to be more precise, a certain conception of that doctrine. 235Datar, supra note 4, at 146–47. The specific conception of police powers that Chief Justice Das imported seems to have been the one advanced by Justice Harlan in Mugler. 236Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 646 (1887). While it is the invisible hand of police powers that did all the work, it did so under the rubric of res extra commercium (REC2). Police powers as understood by Justice Harlan acted as an ex ante regulation on the takings clause. Chief Justice Das’ REC2, also, too made police powers act as an ex ante regulation of the freedom of trade under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. 237See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala , A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720–21; see also Kaushal v. Union of India, 1978 A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1457, 1473 (India) (Krishnaiyer, J.) (recognizing the noxious use doctrine as the basis of police powers).Mugler’s effect was to declare that an exercise of police powers blocked ex ante the subject of its exercise from invoking the constitutional protection under either the takings clause or the due process clause, R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala’s effect was to declare that an exercise of police powers blocked ex ante the subject of its exercise from invoking the constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. 238R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala , A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701, 720–21.

To be sure, Chief Justice Das does not even on one occasion use the phrase police powers in the original his opinion—he only uses it derivatively while quoting from Justice Williams’ opinion in Mansell v Beck 239Id. at 716 (“It is important to observe the distinction that gambling is not trade, commerce and [sic] intercourse within the meaning of S. [sic] 92 otherwise the control of gambling in Australia would be attended with constitutional difficulties.” (citing Mansell v Beck (1956) 95 CLR 550, 570 (Austl.))). —let alone openly invoke Mugler. 240See generally R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699. However, the effect Chief Justice Das seeks to achieve with the doctrine of res extra commercium leaves us in little doubt that it is conception of police powers propounded in Mugler that is sought to be invoked, although silently. 241Id. The effect achieved by the police power doctrine in Mugler is achieved by the doctrine of REC2 in India. There are however two Indian High Court opinions (both rendered by Justice Hidayatullah) that rely openly on Mugler and use police powers as a constriction of Article 19: one is the Nagpur High Court’s decision in Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh, 242Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh (1951) Crim. L.J. (Bombay H.C.) 1140 (1951) (India). Interestingly, the judgment in Shoeshankar was never challenged in the Supreme Court. and the other, the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s decision in Buntasingh v. Madhya Pradesh. 243Bantasingh v. Madhya Pradesh, A.I.R. 1958 (M.P. H.C.) 193 (March 29, 1957) (India). In R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, Chief Justice Das seems to have readily adopted this template provided by Sheoshankar. 244R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala , A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720–22. However, unlike Justice Hidayatullah, Chief Justice Das does not openly invoke either Mugler or the police power doctrine. Seervai points out that the noxious use theory underlies the decision of the court in Sheoshankar. 245Seervai, supra note 1, at 696.

VII. Talking Past Each Other

What really ought to be at stake when one judge argues for res extra commercium type regulation and another other opposes it, is the question of whether the police power doctrine and ex ante regulation premised on the doctrine are permissible in the scheme of the Constitution of India. Instead what we find is that the adherents and detractors of the doctrine, while apparently disagreeing over res extra commercium have just been talking past each other. The detractors of res extra commercium have all along believed that it is the REC1 conception which Chief Justice Das sought to introduce and have argued, over the decades, that the Roman conception of res extra commercium simply cannot create restrictions on any activity in the name of morality. 246 See, e.g., Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1371–72 (India). On the other hand, the supporters of the doctrine have not made the least attempt to justify how the police power doctrine—which is the invisible hand mechanism behind their conception of res extra commercium (REC2)—can be accommodated within the scheme of the Indian Constitution. 247See, e.g., Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India). There is a heavy theoretical price that has had to be paid for this misunderstanding: the police power doctrine and the ex ante constrictions premised thereupon have come to become ensconced as a part of the Constitution of India 248The police power doctrine has gone well beyond the scope of res extra commercium and has been applied in areas as diverse as law and order and planning regulations. See, e.g., Comm’r of Police v. Avadhuta, (2004) 2 S.C.R. 1019 (India); Friends Colony Dev. Comm. v. Orissa, A.I.R. 2005 S.C. 1 (India). without the least judicial debate or reflection. 249See Datar, supra note 4, at 140–41.This wrongful application of police powers has continued till date. The police power doctrine has been repeatedly followed in a number of cases . . . .. . . .. . . . [s]ubsequent cases have blindly accepted this doctrine without deliberating whether the theory of police power would be necessary in the light of Articles 19(2) to 19(6) in India.Id. at 140–41 (footnote omitted). Later, in Part X it will be argued that structure of the fundamental right under Article 19 does not allow the imposition of any ex ante constrictions of the sort advocated by Chief Justice Das.

This “talking past” each other began in 1967 in Narula where Chief Justice Subba Rao resisted the extension of ex ante prohibition on gambling in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala to trade in intoxicating liquor. 250Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1371–72 (India). The government argued that the ex ante prohibition which was imposed on gambling in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala must be extended to trade in intoxicating liquor as well. 251Id. at 1371. The government’s argument being that the sale of intoxicating liquor was morally repugnant and that Chief Justice Das’ judgment has purchase against any immoral activity—the sale of intoxicating liquor being one of them. 252Id. at 1368–69. In his judgment in Narula, Chief Justice Subba Rao made—what he should no doubt have thought to be—telling arguments against Chief Justice Das’s judgment in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala. Chief Justice Subba Rao appears to bring into question the REC1 concept of res extra commercium and directed all his critical energies at unpacking the concept and casting doubt on the moral prohibitory task that he took Chief Justice Das to have charged it with. 253Id. Chief Justice Subba Rao appears to have been under the impression that Chief Justice Das had used the REC1 conception of res extra commercium to justify ex ante restrictions on gambling, 254Id. at 1373. only to find that it was could not accomplish any of the moral prohibitory tasks that he thought Chief Justice Das had assigned to it. 255Id. at 1371–72. Chief Justice Subba Rao went straight into an investigation of whether there was any conceptual embargo in the ownership and alienation of alcohol and held that, conceptually, because alcohol is capable of being owned and alienated, it cannot be res extra commercium and thus cannot be excluded from Article19 protection by an ex ante control. 256Id. at 1368–69. He states: “[I]f the activity of a dealer, say, in ghee is business; then how does it cease to be business if it is in liquor?” 257Id. at 1369 Now, while Chief Justice Subba Rao was right about the fact that there is nothing conceptually problematic about ownership and sale of alcohol and that REC1 does not come in the way of “trade” in alcohol, one fears that Chief Justice Subba Rao was not really offering a real counter-argument to Chief Justice Das’ theory of ex ante regulation; rather they were just talking past one another. 258Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, [] (India). Chief Justice Das had meant to use the REC2 conception of the doctrine of res extra commercium, with the police power doctrine being the invisible hand mechanism accomplishing the moral prohibitionary task. 259Id. Chief Justice Subba Rao and Chief Justice Das were working with different definitions while apparently arguing about, and disagreeing over, the same issue. 260Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371; R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720. Chief Justice Subba Rao and Chief Justice Das though apparently in disagreement, were in reality talking past one another as they were working with different conceptions of res extra commercium. 261Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371; R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720.

The real issue at stake was not whether there is a conceptual embargo on the ownership and alienation of alcohol but whether the scheme of the Indian Constitution allows for the police power doctrine imposing ex ante regulations on certain activities by constricting the scope of Article 19(1)(g). 262Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371. Chief Justice Subba Rao thought the puzzle lay with examining the exact scope of the Roman law doctrine of res extra commercium. He believed that discrediting res extra commercium was all that was needed to lend a telling blow to the scheme of ex ante constriction of fundamental rights under Article 19 attempted by Chief Justice Das. 263Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26. (India). Five decades on, this very misunderstanding persists. 264Id.

Judgments of the Supreme Court after Nashirwar 265Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India). have uniformly upheld ex ante regulation on trade in intoxicating liquor including a constriction of Article 19(1)(g) and no judge, until very recently, has seriously opposed the idea. 266Punjab v. Devans, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26. It is only very recently that some voices have been heard against this well-entrenched doctrine. 267The doctrine was questioned only once between the 70’s until the last decade, but the questioning was a tentative and hesitant one. See Kaushal v. Union of India, 1978 A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1457 (India). Justice Krishna Iyer at one place argues “Any government with worker’s weal and their families’ survival at heart will use its ‘police power’ under Article 19(6) read with section 59(f)(v) of the Act to forbid alcohol sales on pay days.” Id. at 124. While also maintaining that “[w]hile the police power as developed in the American jurisprudence and constitutional law, may not be applicable in terms to the Indian Constitutional law, there is much that is common between that doctrine and the reasonableness doctrine under Art. 19 of the Indian Constitution.” Id. at 148. In the last decade, Justice Sinha has been the most vociferous critic of this scheme of ex ante regulation. 268Action Comm., Unaided Pvt. Schs. v. Dir. of Educ., Delhi, (2009) 12 S.C.R. 289 (India); Garg v. Hotel Assoc. of India, (2007) 12 S.C.R. 991 (India); Punjab v. Devans, 11 S.C.C. 26. He has expressed his doubts about the soundness of ex ante regulation brought about by the doctrine in a few judgments, 269See Garg, (2007) 12 S.C.R. at 1007–08. Here, Justice Sinha restricted the applicability of the doctrine of res extra commercium by holding that even if trade in liquor were to be res extra commercium, it does not render contracts employment contracts pertaining to serving liquor, illegal or contrary to public policy. Id. notably, Devans Breweries. 270Punjab v. Devans, 11 S.C.C. 26. Alas, one fears that he too might be tilting at a straw man. 271Justice Sinha does note in passing that underlying the doctrine of res extra commercium is the police power doctrine. But he does nothing to question the incongruity of the doctrine in the scheme of the constitution of India. Id.

Justice Sinha argues that the doctrine of res exta commercium, which he identifies with the Roman law doctrine, cannot justify the imposition of ex ante constrictions on the fundamental right to trade in alcohol. 272Id. at118. Justice Sinha directs his criticism against the REC1 concept of res extra commercium pointing out the inadequacies of the doctrine would automatically have critical purchase against this scheme of ex ante prohibition. 273Id. 118,134. However, though Justice Sinha’s view on the concept of res extra commercium may be right, the soundness of the Roman law concept of res extra commercium is actually besides the point in the debate. Even establishing conclusively that REC1 is wholly inapplicable to activities, such as trade in liquor or gambling, will still leave the central puzzles about res extra commercium intact. It would still remain an open question whether such ex ante regulation of certain activities by a constriction of Article 19(1)(g) is permissible by the scheme envisaged in the Constitution of India. Furthermore, as the invisible hand mechanism behind Chief Justice Das’ invocation of res extra commercium was the police power doctrine, the real issue at stake was whether the police power doctrine could be invoked to constrict the scope of Article 19. 274Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 712 (India). Perhaps most of this confusion surrounding res extra commercium could have been avoided had Chief Justice Das been forthcoming in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala and spelt out that he was importing the police power doctrine in the Indian Constitution. 275Id. Of course, that would have meant that the doctrine could never have been successfully imported from American constitutional law, given the opposition to it at the time. 276See supra Part VI.

It was only two decades later in Nashirwar that it was more specifically spelt out that the basis of the ex ante regulation of Article 19 is indeed the police power doctrine. 277Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India).

There are three principal reasons to hold that there is no fundamental right of citizens to carry on trade or to do business in liquor. First, there is the police power of the State to enforce public morality to prohibit trades in noxious or dangerous goods. Second, there is power of the State to enforce an absolute prohibition of manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquor. . . . Third, the history of excise law in India shows that the State has the exclusive right or privilege of manufacture or sale of liquor. 278Id.

In Shankar, Justice Chandrachud’s judgment clarified that the invisible hand mechanism behind the ex ante regulation of Article 19 in the context of trade in liquor was the police power doctrine. 279Shankar v. Dy. Excise & Tax’n Comm’r, (1975) 3 S.C.R. 271 (India). He did this by holding that the justification for trade in liquor falling outside the purview of Article 19(1)(g) was the “police powers” doctrine imported from American constitutional law. 280Id. However, this acknowledgement by Justice Chandrachud was not accompanied by any justification for the basis of the police power doctrine. 281Id. at 277. Justice Chandrachud places reliance on Nashirwar. However, even in Nashirwar there was no justification for the basis of importing the police power doctrine into the Constitutional law of India. See Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India). Nor was there the least attempt to counter the myriad earlier rulings of the Supreme Court of India which had, in no uncertain terms, expressed their disquiet with the import of the police powers doctrine into the Indian Constitution. 282See supra Subpart VI.B. On the contrary, Justice Chandrachud argues that police power is a well-accepted and settled doctrine of Indian constitutional law and it was Narula which had struck a discordant note. Needless to say, there was little evidence to support Justice Chandrachud’s proposition. Id. With Harshankar, it was clear that despite the staunch resistance to the police power doctrine by the Indian Supreme Court, it had entered and had got ensconced in Indian constitutional law, without the least resistance, almost as if by a silent adverse possession. 283Shankar, (1975) 3 S.C.R. at [271]. Be that as it may, the doctrine of police of police powers still continued to operate under the pseudonym: res extra commercium. This went virtually unquestioned and unopposed until the last decade when Justice Sinha began questioning the doctrine of res extra commercium in his dissenting judgments.

VIII. The Conceptual Ambiguity

There can be discerned a great deal of conceptual ambiguity in the judgments of the Supreme Court of India dealing with the issue of res extra commercium; this is equally true of both species of judgment, namely, of those prohibiting certain spheres of activity by applying the doctrine as of those refusing to extend the doctrine to certain activities. 284Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Karnataka, 1995 SCC (1) 574 (India). Underlying this ambiguity is an imprecise characterization of the nature of the fundamental right found in Article 19(1)(g). 285Id.

Nowhere is the ambiguity more evident than the Supreme Court’s judgment in Khoday Distilleries v. Karnataka 286Id. at 913. : a landmark judgment in which the Supreme Court sought to give a clear restatement of the Constitutional status of trade in liquor and the doctrine of res extra commercium. 287Id. An earlier case, Synthetics & Chemicals v. Uttar Pradesh, 1990 S.C.C. (1) 109 (India), clarified the constitution status of trade in non-potable liquor. However, a different set of principles have long been thought to apply to potable and non-potable liquor. Non-potable liquor has not been thought to be res extra commercium. Id. It is, however, far from being a clear restatement of the doctrine. The judgment in Khoday confounds what was already a confusing doctrine and rests it on a questionable characterization of Article 19(1)(g) and the reasonable restrictions under Article 19(6). The nub of the ambiguity in the judgment in Khoday can be stated simply. Justice Sawant holds that the power to ex ante regulate “traffic” in liquor, for which he retains the tag res extra commercium, stems from the ‘police power’ of the state but he struggles to accommodate such ex ante restriction in the scheme of the Indian Constitution. 288Khoday Distilleries, (1995) 1 SCC 574 (India). At places, he rests ex ante restrictions on the regulatory power under 19(6), 289Id. at 606. while at the same time, at the cost of contradiction, also says that dealing in liquor is blocked ex ante from falling under 19(1)(g). 290Id. at 608. If dealing in liquor does not fall under Article 19(1)(g) then how could the question of regulating it under 19(6) ever arise? That is to say, if an activity is blocked ex ante from falling under Article 19(1)(g) then there could be no question of regulating it reasonably under Article 19(6). Conversely, if restrictions on liquor are justifiable under the reasonable restrictions imposed by law under Article 19(6) then logically it amounts to the implicit admission that dealing in liquor is not ex ante blocked from falling under Article 19(1)(g). Such a stance would be a most uncomfortable one as it would directly contradict the claim of res extra commercium constituting an ex ante restriction that the judgments like R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala so vigorously endorse in order to deny that “traffic” in liquor is business or trade falling under 19(1)(g). 291Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 717 (India). This conceptual ambiguity stems from Justice Sawant’s imprecise characterization of the nature of fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g) and the reasonable restrictions imposable thereupon under Article 19(6). 292Khoday Distilleries, (1995) 1 SCC 574 (India).

There is a similar ambiguity found in Godawat. 293Godawat Pan Masala I.P. Ltd. v. Union of India, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India). The Court had to decide whether the doctrine of res extra commercium could be extended to trade in tobacco. 294Id. In Godawat, the Court held that determining whether a certain activity is res extra commercium was the task of the legislature. 295Id at 99. It is not immediately apparent how this proposition is meant to be understood as there are two distinct ways of cashing out the idea: (1) Perhaps, the Supreme Court in Godawat understood res extra commercium not as an ex ante prohibition but an ex post one imposable by the legislature under Article 19(6) and hence the reference to the legislature; or (2) perhaps, the Supreme Court understood res extra commercium type restriction as ex ante restrictions, albeit one imposable by the legislature. 296Id. It turns out that either way of understanding the Supreme Court’s judgment in Godawat engenders the sort of disquiet that we encountered while analyzing Khoday. Let us consider the first reading where res extra commercium is to be understood not as an ex ante prohibition but an ex post one imposable by the legislature under Article 19(6). Understood thus, the Supreme Court perhaps wanted to point out that restriction of the res extra commercium type can only be imposed under Article 19(6) by a “law” validly enacted by a legislature. 297Id. On this reading, res extra commercium assumes the character of a straightforward restriction on any other activity thought to be morally unobjectionable, not just the morally repugnant activities. 298Id. Oddly, on this reading any “reasonable” ex post restriction on any business activity would have to be thought to be res extra commercium. 299Id. To be sure, this reading of res extra commercium would be totally divorced from how earlier Supreme Court judgments like R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala understood the doctrine. 300Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 718 (India). To avoid this rather odd consequence, we may be tempted to gravitate towards the other reading where res extra commercium is seen as an ex ante restriction albeit one imposed by the legislature. But even this reading does little to dissipate the unease, as it comes saddled with its own riddles and problems. On this reading it would be for the “legislature” to declare some activity as res extra commercium and ex ante block it from falling under Article 19(1)(g). 301Godawat Pan Masala, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India). However, such a “declaration” of ex ante restrictions by the legislature would be conceptually odd. If an activity is ex ante blocked from falling under Article 19(1)(g) the legislature’s declaration would be pointless and redundant as even without it the activity in question would not count as a trade or business under Article 19(1)(g). This reading could give rise to a seriously anomalous situation: Whereby, it is the legislature that decides whether a certain activity falls within the ambit of the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g). This would turn on its head the very structure of fundamental rights as they are understood in the Constitution of India. 302India Const. art. 19, §1, cl. g. It is the Constitution that determines the scope of the legislature’s interference with people’s rights and liberties; not the other way around—where the legislature determines which constitutional right applies and on which occasions. 303Id. art. 13, § 1.Godawat Pan Masala I.P. Ltd. V. Union of India, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India). Such a proposition scrambles all our common sense intuitions about constitutional rights and thus carries its incongruity branded on its forehead. Either an activity is ex ante restricted or not; what the legislature says on the issue is neither here nor there as far as the scope of the fundamental right is concerned. If something is ex ante prohibited under the Constitution, the legislature cannot make it so by its say-so; nor can it do the converse.

IX. The Impermissibility of Ex Ante Constrictions in the Constitution of India

Res extra commercium creates an ex ante regulation on fundamental rights in the interests of morality and public health, which is a function typically performed by the concept of police powers in the U.S. Constitution. 304See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661 (1887). In what follows, this Article will be concerned only with the narrow scope reading of the police power doctrine in cases such as Mugler v. Kansas. It does this by constricting the fundamental rights in Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. 305See supra Part V. It was argued that Mugler has the effect of constricting the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Id. In this Part, it will be argued that the framework of Article 19 does not permit the imposition of ex ante constrictions. 306This Article will leave open here to question of whether this argument is extendable to Article 21. Articles 19 and 21 are very different in nature, as Article 21 does not have the equivalent of reasonable restrictions. India Const. arts. 19, 21. The only regulation permissible is through reasonable restrictions imposable ex post by law under Article 19(6). 307The argument advanced here is valid for all fundamental freedoms in Article 19 and the reasonable restrictions in Articles 19(2) to 19(6). However, to avoid clutter this Article only refers to Article 19(1)(g) and reasonable restrictions imposable under Article 19(6). Article 19(1)(g) guarantees to citizens the fundamental liberty or freedom to engage in any trade or business activity. The morality or otherwise of the activity does not prevent it from falling under Article 19(1)(g), though it could be a justified ground for imposition of reasonable restrictions—prohibition even—by “law” under Article 19(6). 308See Datar, supra note 4, at 146.Ex ante constrictions on fundamental rights are not permissible for three reasons:

(A) Constitutional liberties or freedoms guaranteed Article 19(1) are conceptually incapable of ex ante constrictions, and because what Article 19 guarantees are liberties/freedoms 309In what follows, I will use the term “freedom” instead of “freedoms/liberties.” , they cannot be subject to a Mugler type of constriction.

(B) If ex ante constrictions are permissible on the grounds of health, safety, morals and the like, it would render redundant, the whole idea of reasonable restrictions, because reasonable restrictions are the only control permissible on freedoms under Article 19(1), ex ante constrictions are impermissible.

(C) The concerns which led the U.S. Supreme Court to constrict the fundamental right contained in the Fifth Amendment are absent in the Constitution of India.

A. No Constrictions on Liberties or Freedoms Possible

Though the expression, freedom, specifically appears in Article 19(1)(a) alone, other constituents of Article 19(1) are also thought to be guarantees to corresponding freedoms. In Chintamanrao v. Madhya Pradesh, 310Chintamanrao v. Madhya Pradesh, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 118 (India). one of the earliest decisions discussing the ambit of the provision, the Supreme Court of India noted that Article 19(1)(g) guarantees the fundamental freedom to engage in any trade activity or business:

Legislation which arbitrarily or excessively invades the right cannot be said to contain the quality of reasonableness unless it strikes a proper balance between the freedom guaranteed in Art[icle] 19(1)(g) and the social control permitted by cl[ause] (6) of Art[icle] 19, it must be held to be wanting in that quality. 311Id. at 119.

Now what is the jural nature of these freedoms? It should be noted that these freedoms are never ‘granted’ by law. They exist naturally. By this we do not seek to invoke any controversial or metaphysically ambitious natural law doctrine. The claim is much humbler and metaphysically austere. The claim here is that liberty is a legal primitive and in the absence of a duty imposed by law, there exists liberty as a default position. 312See supra discussion in Part V. As Albert Kocoureck states the principle in Jural Relations:

The owner of a chattel has freedom to use it in any manner he sees fit so long as he does not . . . trespass on the domain of duty. . . . The law can not enlarge his liberty, since it rests on the natural capacity of the owner of the land to make such use of his land as he may . . . . 313Kocoureck, supra note 147, at 15.

Article 19(1)(g) guarantees the freedom to carry on any trade or business. Freedom is an extra legal entity; it is not granted by law. 314John Humbach, A Unifying Theory for the Just-Compensation Cases: Takings, Regulation and Public Use, 34 Rutgers L. Rev. 243, 259 (1982). It can only be curtailed by law; it is the natural capacity of agents. 315Kocoureck, supra note 147, at 16. Accordingly, Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution does not grant freedom as it does not grant anyone the natural capacity to do anything. Article 19(1) deals with freedoms understood as natural capacities. 316W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 95 (India). In Chief Justice Sastri’s words in Bose:

[T]he framers of our Constitution drew the same distinction and classed the natural right or capacity . . . with other natural rights and freedoms inherent in the status of a free citizen . . . while they provided for the protection of concrete rights of property owned by a person in Art[icle] 31.

. . . .

. . . I am of opinion that under the scheme of the Constitution, all those broad and basic freedoms inherent in the status of a citizen as a free man are embodied and protected from invasion by the State under clause (1) of [A]rt[icle] 19, the powers of State regulation of those freedoms in public interest being defined in relation to each of those freedoms by cl[ause]s (2) to (6) of that [A]rticle. 317Id. At 95–96 (emphasis added). Chief Justice Sastri’s opinion makes a clear distinction between rights and freedoms and argues that Article 19 pertains to freedoms while provisions such as Article 31 pertain to rights. Id.

Chief Justice Sastri’s use of natural freedoms and capacities in typically Kocoureckian style, in the context of Article 19 is illuminating. Article 19(1)(g) guarantees that a state cannot take away freedoms enumerated in the provision. 318Id. While Article 19(1)(g) protects certain fundamental freedoms, it is not the “source” of these freedoms. The idea of ex ante restrictions on freedoms, under Article 19 is incongruous; it is antithetical to the very idea of a legal freedom. The natural capacity to do any of the things enumerated in Article 19(1) constitutes a freedom. The perceived immorality of any of those things does not cause a liberty to vanish. Thus, there can in principle be no ex ante restrictions on activities perceived to be immoral. Any restriction would have to be ex post imposed by Article 19(2)–(6) and would have to pass the test of reasonableness. The idea of ex ante restrictions on grounds of the perceived immorality of the activity in question is all the more incongruous. The natural capacity to do something does not diminish because of the perceived immorality of the act; it follows, the freedom to do something does not diminish because of the act’s perceived immorality. The freedom guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) cannot be controlled by morality—it can only be curtailed by a legal duty. 319See Datar, supra note 4, 145–48.

In the scheme of Article 19, these curtailments take the form of reasonable restrictions imposable by law under Article 19(6). 320Id. at 139. Chief Justice Subba Rao in the course of his somewhat misdirected argument against what he took to be Chief Justice Das’ conception of res extra commercium also seems to have been be dimly aware of the fact that the Indian Constitution cannot permit the idea of an ex ante moral restriction on a legal freedom and that any such restriction must be imposed by law under Article 19(6). 321Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1373 (India). That should neatly explain why Chief Justice Subba Rao opined in Narula:

[M]orality or otherwise of a deal does not affect the quality of the activity though it may be a ground for imposing a restriction on the said activity. . .

. . . Such an approach leads to incoherence in thought and expression. Standards of morality can offer guidance to impose restrictions but cannot limit the scope of the right. 322Id. at 1369.

Thus, there is no scope for the imposition of ex ante restrictions on any of the fundamental freedoms under Article 19(1). 323India Const. art. 19. To be sure, if some activity is thought to be immoral or pernicious to public health, the state can make a law and impose reasonable restrictions ex post under Article 19(6). 324Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1368. But there can never in principle be an ex ante restriction on such an activity. If there is no reasonable law under Article 19(6) making a purportedly immoral activity illegal, a person has the freedom under Article 19(1)(g) to carry on such activity. 325India Const. art. 19, §1. It may well be an immoral activity, even one against public health: all factors crying out in favour of immediate regulation; yet, unless a law in made pursuant to Article 19(6), the activity is cannot be said to be automatically regulated ex ante. 326Id. art. 19, §6. To be sure, the framers of the Constitution of India could have specifically excluded certain liberties from the Article 19(1)(g) in which case they would not be constitutional liberties any more. 327Id. art. 19. They could have added a clause saying that certain activities considered pernicious to morals would not fall under Article 19(1)(g). 328Id. This would have introduced ex ante regulations on a certain class of activities; but they did not do so. Rather, they envisaged a scheme where these liberties could be reasonably curtailed by law made under Article 19(6). 329India Const. art. 19, §6. Such laws would impose duties that would have the effect of curtailing liberties that would have otherwise existed in their absence.

It could perhaps be contended that that there is nothing problematic in freedom being controlled by morality; and hence the freedom to trade and carry on business can also be curtailed ex ante by morality: In Khoday, Justice Sawant makes just this argument. 330Khoday Distilleries Ltd v. Karnataka, 1995 SCC (1) 574 (India). He argues, the freedom of trade surely cannot include “immoral activities” such as traffic in women, counterfeit currency, exhibiting pornographic films and the like as there cannot be “business in crime.” 331See id. at 605. Justice Sawant’s argument echoes H.M. Seervai’s views on the issue. Seervai argues that when traffic in women and counterfeit currency can be curtailed because it is immoral, so can trade in liquor and gambling. 332See Seervai, supra note 1, 697–98. Seervai, in turn adopts his argument from Chief Justice Das’ opinion in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala:

On this argument it will follow that criminal activities undertaken and carried on with a view to earning profit will be protected as fundamental rights until they are restricted by law. Thus there will be a guaranteed right to carry on a business of hiring out goondas to commit assault or even murder, of house-breaking, of selling obscene pictures, of trafficking in women and so on until the law curbs or stops such activities. This appears to us to be completely unrealistic and incongruous.

We have no doubt that there are certain activities which can under no circumstances be regarded as trade or business or commerce although the usual forms and instruments are employed therein. To exclude those activities from the meaning of those words is not to cut down their meaning at all but to say only that they are not within the true meaning of those words. Learned counsel has to concede that there can be no “trade” or “business in crime” but submits that this principle should not be extended . . . . 333Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R.1957 S.C. 699, 718–19 (India) (Das, C.J.); see also Kaushal v. Union of India, 1978 A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1457 (India) (Iyer, J.) (“The contrary argument that all economic activities were entitled to freedom as ‘trade’ subject to reasonable restrictions which the Legislature might impose, was dealt with by the learned Chief Justice in a sharp and forceful presentation.”) .

But is this a sound argument? It is feared these examples cited by Chief Justice Das, and endorsed by Justice Sawant and Seervai, beg this question and are circular. They actually presume the very thing they are meant to establish. One can find little to quarrel with Chief Justice Das who argues there can be no business in crime. A “crime,” however, is something that is prohibited by “law” on the pain of penalty. Something perceived to be “immoral” in itself is not a crime. Each of the activities enumerated by Seervai and Justice Sawant are crimes according to laws, which are presumably constitutionally valid. Thus, it could be argued that these are instances where freedoms are “reasonably” curtailed ex post by “law.” None of the illustrations furnished by Chief Justice Das establish unquestionably a freedom being curtailed ex ante by morality. Each of these is an instance of freedom being curtailed by law—not of freedom being curtailed by morality. Immorality in itself does not constitute illegality; nor does it constrict the scope of freedoms in Article 19. For instance most of us would hold that lying is immoral but the law does not impose any general duty to speak the truth. For Chief Justice Das’ argument to have any real purchase he ought to have cited instances of activities, which are not already criminalized under constitutionally valid laws. 334Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R.1957 S.C. 699 (India). Gambling and trade in liquor—all activities held by the courts to be res extra commercium—are the subjects of specific legislative competence entries in the Constitution of India; the criminal activities mentioned by Chief Justice Das are not. 335India Const. art. 246 read with VII Schedule. The concerns voiced by Chief Justice Das would only have been valid had Article 19 not had a provision authorising the imposition of reasonable restrictions. 336Id. art. 19. It could then have been argued that the only way to curtail certain obnoxious liberties would be to constrict the scope of Article 19 so as to exclude them. This, however, is not the case with the Constitution of India. Holding that immorality constricts the scope of freedoms in Article 19 would most certainly go against the jural design of the provision.

B. Rendering Reasonable Restrictions Obsolete

The idea of ex ante regulations is out of place in the scheme of Article 19, because if it were possible to block or regulate ex ante any activity on grounds of health, safety, and morals, then the reasonable restrictions clause under 19(6) would be rendered obsolete 337Id. Accepting Chief Justice Das’ argument, that ex ante constriction is permissible on Article 19 in the interests of public health, safety,and morality would mean that Article 19, as it stands, is only for activities which are not otherwise not against public health, safety, or morality. If ex ante constriction on Article 19 was permissible, there would have been no need for the framers to provide for reasonable restrictions to be imposable on the grounds “interest of the public” a category which incorporates grounds pertaining to public health, safety,and morality. 338Mun. Corp. of Ahmedabad v. Usmanbhai, A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 1205, 1212 (India). The Supreme Court of India has specifically recognized public health safety and morals as falling under the rubric of reasonable restrictions imposable in the “interest of the public.” 339See id. (“The expression in the interest of general public is of wide import comprehending public order, public health, public security, morals, economic welfare of the community and the objects mentioned in Part IV of the Constitution.”) See also Maharashtra v. Rao, A.I.R. 1970 S.C. 1157 (India). If the police power doctrine is allowed to be imported into India, the need for reasonable restrictions will be completely obviated. Perhaps a case could have been made for ex ante constrictions of Article 19, if reasonable restrictions did not extend to prohibitions or to restrictions in the interests of public health, safety, and morality. 340India Const. art. 19. Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430. In such an event, the only way to completely curtail an activity considered harmful to public health would be to deny that it falls within the scope of the constitutional protection at all by a constriction of Article 19. However, reasonable restrictions do include prohibitions. 341See Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430 (India) . Hence, the need for a separate category of ex ante constrictions is completely ruled out. Making an argument to this effect in Devans Modern Breweries, Justice Sinha points out “if by reason of judicial interpretation those trades which are obnoxious in nature would not fall within the purview of Art 19, what was the necessity of extending the meaning of ‘reasonable restriction’ to prohibition . . . .” 342Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries Ltd., 11 S.C.C. 26, 132.

C. The Concerns That Led the U.S. Supreme Court to Constrict the Fundamental Right Contained in the Fifth Amendment Absent in the Constitution of India

Without taking sides in the debate about the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 343U.S. Const. amend V. it is easy to see why it might be thought to need something like a Mugler-type ex ante constriction in order to be effective. A Mugler-type restriction is premised on the assumption that the just compensation clause would only be used in cases where there is a taking of property. 344Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 623 (1887). Hence, something that does not amount to a taking would fall outside the ambit of the takings and just compensation clause. 345Id. If it was held that an interference with property was a taking, the government’s obligation to pay compensation would automatically be triggered. 346Id. at 663. To shield the state from vast financial liabilities for regulations in public interest, which impacted property, it was absolutely essential to constrict the applicability of the just compensation clause: Mugler did just that. 347Id. at 664. Such considerations would, by their very nature, apply only to a provision in the nature of the takings clause. They would have no applicability to a provision in the nature of Article 19(1), which does not require compensation for any regulations that impact on any activity falling within its ambit. 348India Const. art. 19.

This is one strong reason why a Mugler type constriction is out of place with Article 19. In fact, when Chief Justice Das had first attempted to introduce ex ante constrictions through the police power doctrine, he had done so in the context of Article 31, 349Chowdhuri v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 42 (1950) (India). the Indian equivalent of the takings clause in the American Constitution—by invoking Mahon. 350Id. at 63. It was argued that though Chief Justice Das ostensibly invokes Mahon, he seems to draw upon Justice Brandeis’ dissent, which in turn supports Mugler. Thus it is Mugler that Chief Justice Das was invoking in Chiranjitlal though he doesn’t expressly admit to doing so. Chief Justice Das’ brethren on the Supreme Court criticised this attempt. 351Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 414 (1922). Even if there was any justification for Chief Justice Das’ attempt to do so, it was erroneous for Chief Justice Das to have extended that doctrine to a constitutional provision, which operated very differently from the takings clause and Article 31. 352India Const. art. 19. Chief Justice Das’s concern was that if morally repugnant and noxious activities were conceded to fall within the scope of Article 31, the government would be saddled with the enormous burden of having to compensate for interferences with such proprietary interests. 353Chowdhuri, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 69. Chief Justice Das’ constriction of Article 31, by an elliptical invocation of Mugler, was thus really to spare the government of enormous financial burden. 354Id. Neither the takings clause nor its Indian counterpart had any provision for ex post reasonable restrictions; whatever circumscriptions imposable on them had to be by way of an ex ante constriction. 355U.S. Const. amend V. No such problem exists for a provision such as Article 19 which does not provides for compensation for its infringement 356India Const. art. 19. —thereby not bringing in its wake the fear of an onerous burden on the exchequer. Moreover, Article 19 unlike the takings clause and Article 31 can be circumscribed by reasonable restrictions imposable by law. 357Id. There is no real justification for an ex ante constriction of Article 19.

Conclusion: Life Without Res Extra Commercium

The doctrine of res extra commercium introduced by Chief Justice Das in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala has the effect of constricting the scope of fundamental rights under Article 19(1)(g) by rendering as constitutional outcasts certain purportedly “immoral” or “noxious” activities such as sale of intoxicating liquor. 358Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 717–18 (India). It does this by blocking these activities from falling within the purview of the protection of fundamental rights. 359Id. Though Chief Justice Das in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala did not expressly spell it out, it was the police power doctrine, imported from the Constitutional law of the United States of America, which was the invisible hand mechanism behind the doctrine of res extra commercium. More precisely, it was the conception of police powers advanced by Justice Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court in Mugler v. Kansas, which lies behind Chief Justice Das’s invocation of res extra commercium. 360See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 653 (1887). It has been be argued here that the police power doctrine sought to be imported by Chief Justice Das under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium is incongruous with the scheme of the Indian Constitution and cannot perform the role assigned to it by Chief Justice Das—namely of blocking certain activities from falling within the purview of constitutional protection and rendering them constitutional outcasts. 361Id. at 633.

The doctrine of res extra commercium purports to act as a constriction on the freedom under Article 19(1)(g)—and it operates in a manner clearly distinct from how the reasonable restrictions imposable by law under Article 19(6) do. 362India Const. art. 19. The effect of the doctrine of res extra commercium is that some purportedly “immoral” activities are deemed to not come within the purview of the fundamental right to carry on trade and business under Article 19(1)(g). 363Id. Such activities are blocked ex ante from falling under Article 19(1)(g), thus obviating the need for the state to enact specific “law” under Article 19(6) to impose reasonable restrictions on them. 364India Const. art. 19, § 6. On this scheme, Article 19(1)(g) stands constricted so as to make such activities fall completely outside its purview. 365Id. art. 19. However onerous or unjust the regulation on such trade or activity may thought to be, they cannot be brought up in judicial review before the courts for testing whether they infringe fundamental rights because the trade in such activity falls outside the purview of Part III of the Constitution of India. It has been argued here that such ex ante constrictions on Article 19(1)(g) are out of place in the scheme of the Constitution of India. 366Id. The only regulation permissible is through reasonable restrictions imposable ex post by law under Article 19(6). Article 19(1)(g) guarantees to citizens the fundamental liberty or freedom to engage in any trade or business activity. 367Id. The morality or otherwise of the activity does not prevent it from falling under Art 19(1)(g), though it could be a justifiable ground for imposition of reasonable restrictions—prohibition even—by law under Article 19(6). 368Id. art. 19 § 6. The court could, on a balancing of interests decide that restrictions—extending to prohibition in appropriate cases—purported to be imposed on some activity are reasonable. However, the reasonableness of the restriction is something that is for the court to assess on the basis of well-settled principles governing the interplay of Article 19(1) and Article 19(6). The primary gripe that any student of constitutional law should have with the doctrine of res extra commercium is that it completely blocks the courts from undertaking any such enquiry or balancing. If the argument advanced here is to be accepted, it would be for the courts to actually undertake such balancing and determine where the balance of reasonableness lies. It is highly unlikely that the pervasive restrictions on many of activities currently countenanced because of the doctrine of res extra commercium would, in their existing form, pass muster under a test of reasonableness under Article 19(1)(6). 369Id. Even after allowances are made to accommodate the elasticity and ambiguity inherent in the test of reasonableness, it would be hard to deny that the Indian society and its conceptions of morality have undergone a paradigm shift in the past two decades and indeed the restrictions on many of activities currently countenanced because of the doctrine of res extra commercium should normatively be expected to come out on the wrong side of reasonableness. The first step towards undertaking that investigation would be to liberate fundamental freedoms from the pincers of res extra commercium. The greatest advantage of jettisoning the doctrine of res extra commercium would be to deprive the state of a convenient fig leaf under which to hide many of its invasions on fundamental freedoms under Article 19. The doctrine has come to be invoked by the government in cases where the restrictions imposed on activities do not stand the least chance of passing the test of reasonableness. The best hope of the state in such cases is to block any investigation into the reasonableness of such restrictions altogether with the doctrine of res extra commercium.

Footnotes

Arvind. P. Datar, Senior Advocate High Court of Madras, B.Sc (Bombay); LL.B (Madras); CWA.Shivprasad Swaminathan is an Associate Professor Jindal Global University; B.S.L., LL.B (ILS-Pune); B.C.L (Oxford); D.Phil (Oxford).The authors wish to thank Navroz Seervai (Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court) in discussions with whom the central ideas of this Article took shape.

11 H.M. Seervai, Constitutional Law of India: A Critical Commentary § 2.140, at 238 (4th ed. 2002).

2See infra Part III; Rudolf Sohm, The Institutes: A Textbook of the History and System of Roman Private Law § 59 (James Crawford Ledlie, trans., 3d ed. 1907) (“Certain things are prevented by a rule of law from being the objects of private rights. Such things are called ‘res extra commercium.’”).

3See, e.g., Walter Wheeler Cook, What is Police Power?, 7 Colum. L. Rev. 322, 322 (1907) (stating that “[n]o phrase is more frequently used and at the same time less understood” than the phrase “police power”); 2 John W. Burgess, Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law: Goverment 136 (Gin & Co. 1902) (1890) (“[T]he police power of the commonwealth is the ‘dark continent’ of our jurisprudence.”); Joseph L. Sax, Takings and the Police Power 74 Yale L.J. 36, 36 n.6 (1965) (“The term ‘police power’ has no exact definition.” (citing Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 32 (1954))). “Regulatory takings,” an area of American Constitutional law most closely involving use of the police power doctrine, and also the one which will concern us most here in the present Article, has been routinely described in the literature as a “bewildering mess.” E.g., James Krier, The Takings-Puzzle Puzzle, 38 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1143 (1994) (“[T]he opening cliché in most of the scholarly commentary is that the law in this area is a bewildering mess.”).

4Arvind P. Datar, Privilege, Police Powers and Res Extra Commercium–Glaring Conceptual Errors, 21 Nat’l L. Sch. India Rev. 133, 134–36 (2009);

5Res extra commercium was introduced in 1957 in the context of gambling in Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 720–22 (India). In 1971, it was extended to sale of intoxicating liquor in Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861, 868–69, 871–22 (India) (“[A]ctivities. which are criminal, or dealing in articles or goods which are res extra co commercium could not have been intended to be permitted by Article 19(1)(f) and (g) relating to fundamental rights to trade or business.” (citing R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720, 722 (India) (Chief Justice Das))). In 1977, the Indian Supreme Court extended the principle in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala to exclude rural money as trade or commerce. Himmatlal v. Maharashtra, A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 1825, 1839 (India).

6India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g.; Seervai, supra note 1, at 696; see infra Part II.

7See Godawat Pan Masala Prods. I.P. Ltd. v. Union of India, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India). But see T.K. Abraham v. Travancore Cochin, A.I.R. 1958 (Ker.) 129 (India). The Kerala High Court struck a discordant note by holding that dealing in tobacco is also res extra commercium. Id. However, this doesn’t seem to have been followed elsewhere thereafter.

8See, e.g., Maharashtra v. Indian Hotels & Rests. Assoc., (2013) 8 S.C.C. 519 (India). In this decision, the government of Maharashtra sought to invoke the doctrine of res extra commercium, though unsuccessfully, to justify a ban on dance bars, i.e. establishments serving alcohol along with dance performances by well-clothed female performers for their male patrons. Id.

9R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720.

10See, e.g., Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (India); Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Karnataka, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 911 (India); Shankar v. Deputy Excise & Taxation Comm’r, (1975) 3 S.C.R. 254, 275–76 (India).

11Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1373 (India).

12Id. at 1371. Chief Justice Subba Rao argued that the “approach leads to incoherence in thought and expression.” Id.

13See Shankar, (1975) 3 S.C.R. at 274–82. The Court approved the doctrine of res extra commercium as sought to be introduced in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala and extended it to trade in liquor. Id. Justice Chandrachud noted that Narula struck a discordant note, flying in the face of precedent before it and hence cannot be regarded as authority on the incongruity of res extra commercium within the constitutional scheme of India. Id. at 277–78. The doctrine has grown in strength since. See, e.g., Himmatlal v. Maharashtra, A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 1825 (India); Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Karnataka, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 911 (India); Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26.

14See Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26 (Agrawal & Sinha, J.J., dissenting).

15See generally Datar, supra note 4, at 134.

16See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 658–59 (1887).

17“Constriction” in this sense means a narrow reading of the fundamental right in question, obviating the inquiry of whether the regulation in question strikes a proper balance between individual liberties and social control.

18See Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 38 (India), for a discussion of the Supreme Court of India’s reservations about the police power doctrine in the 1950s.

19See Seervai, supra note 1, at 239.

20See Chowdhury v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 68 (1950) (India).

21See W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96–97 (1953) (India).

22Compare India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g (protecting the right to practice any profession, carry on any occupation, trade, or business regarding freedom of speech), with id. art. 19, § 6 (restricting Article 19(1)(g) rights to the interests of the “general public”).

23William Burdick, The Principles of Roman Law and Their Relation to Modern Law 310 (1918).

24Sohm, supra note 2, at § 59.

25See Datar, supra note 4, at 145.

26See Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 720–22 (India).

27 Compare id. (Das, C.J.), with Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 658–59 (1887) (Harlan, J.).

28See Mugler, 123 U.S. at 658–59; U.S. Const. amend. V.

29See, e.g., Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419, 458 (1827); New York v. Miln, 36 U.S. (11 Pet.) 102, 147 (1837); Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 (16 Pet.) , 625 (1842); See Christopher Supino, The Police Power and “Public Use”: Balancing the Public Interest Against Private Rights through Principled Constitutional Distinctions, 110 W. Va. L. Rev. 711 (2008).

30See Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 53 (1905) (“Those powers, broadly stated and without, at present, any attempt at a more specific limitation, relate to the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the public.”); Mugler, 123 U.S. at 658–59; Commonwealth v. Alger, 61 Mass. (7 Cush.) 53, 85 (1851).

31See Mugler, 123 U.S. at 658–59.

32E.g., Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 720–22 (India).

33Compare Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368 (India), with Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (Sinha, J., dissenting) (India).

34See Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371; Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26.

35See Shankar, A.I.R. 1975 S.C. at 1121; Khoday Distilleries, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 911.

36See Chowdhury v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 68 (1950) (India); W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96–97 (India).

37See Datar, supra note 4, at 147.

38See id.

39Compare India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g, with id. art. 19, § 6.

40India Const. pt. III. Part III of the Constitution consists of Articles 12–35. Id. Article 13 specifies that any law contravening any of the fundamental rights enumerated in Part III will be invalid. Id. art. 13. Article 32(1) allows the party whose fundamental rights are violated to approach the Supreme Court directly for redressal. India Const. art. 32, § 1. In Gopalan, Chief Justice Kania opined that Article 13 was inserted out of abundant caution. Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 34 (India). However, in Sajjan Singh v. Rajasthan, Justice Hidayatullah questioned Chief Justice Kania on this point by arguing that Article 13 is hardly redundant, as the Chief Justice makes it out to be. Singh v. Rajasthan, A.I.R. 1965 S.C. 845 (India). Whatever view one may take on the broader debate about the redundancy or otherwise of the provision, there is no denying the fact that even in the absence of Article 13, the judiciary would have had the power of constitutional review. India Const. art. 13.

41India Const. art. 19, § 1, cls. a–g. The Constitution of India clusters the provisions of Part III under distinct headings. Articles 19–22 are clustered under the heading “Right to Freedom.” Id. arts. 19–22. The fundamental freedoms in Article 19 include: (1) freedom of speech and expression; (2) freedom to assemble peaceably without arms; (3) freedom to form associations; (4) freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India; (5) freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India. Id. art. 19 § 1, cl. f; and the freedom to carry on any occupation, trade or business. Id. art. 19, § 1, cls. a–f, g. The reasonable limitations which can be imposed on these fundamental freedoms are enumerated in Articles 19(2) to (6). Id. art. 19, §§ 2–6. The freedom to hold and dispose property was a fundamental freedom under Article 19(1)(f), but this freedom was deprived of its status as a fundamental right by the Forty-Fourth amendment in the year 1978 and was moved to Article 300A as an ordinary constitutional right. The Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978 (India).

42India Const. art. 19, §§ 2–6. The term “reasonableness” is incapable of exact definition. See, e.g., Madras v. V.G. Row, A.I.R. 1952 S.C. 196, 200 (India). It was held that the each restriction ought to be tested individually as no general or abstract standard applicable to all cases could be devised. Id.

43India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. g. For the sake of economy and convenience, profession, occupation, trade and business will be referred to as “activity.”

44India Const. art. 19, § 6 (“Nothing in sub-clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause . . . .”)

45See Papanasam Labour Union v. Madura Coats, A.I.R. 1995 S.C. 2200 (India). The Supreme Court held the court’s approach to assessing the reasonableness of restrictions should be dynamic—alive to the felt need of the society. Id. After much uncertainty on the point in the first decade of the Constitution, i.e the 1950s, the Supreme Court held in 1960 that “restriction” under clauses 19(2) to 19(6) could also include “prohibition.” Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430, 436 (India); see Mun. Corp. of Ahmedabad v. Usmanbhai, A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 1205, 1212 (India) (“The expression ‘in the interest of general public’ is of wide import comprehending public order, public health, public security, morals, economic welfare of the community . . . .”).

46See Chintamanrao, A.I.R. 1951 S.C.118 at 119. Setting out the test for reasonableness in Justice Mahajan opined:[T]he limitation . . . should not be arbitrary or of an excessive nature beyond what is required in the interests of the public. The word “‘reasonable”‘ implies intelligent care and deliberation that is the choice of course which reason dictates. Legislation which arbitrarily or excessively invades the right cannot be said to contain the quality of reasonableness and unless it strikes a proper balance between the freedom guaranteed in Art[icle] 19(1)(g) and the [sic] social control permitted by cl[ause] 6 of Art[icle] 19(6), it must be held to be wanting in that quality.Id.

47See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 628, 631 (India).

48See id. This was a petition related to R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala where the Supreme Court held:[A]s regards gambling competitions, the petitioners before us cannot seek the protection of Art. 19(1)(g), and that the question whether the restrictions enacted in ss. 4 and 5 and Rr. 11 and 12 are reasonable and in the interest of the public within Art. 19(6) does not therefore arise for consideration.Id.

49See Seervai, supra note 1, at 694–95.

50Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1951) 52 Crim. L.J. (H.C.) 1140 (India).

51Shankar v. Dy. Excise & Taxation Comm’r, A.I.R. 1975 S.C. 1121 (India).

52See Madras v. Row, A.I.R. 1952 S.C. 196, 200 (India).

53See Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430, 436 (India). A complete prohibition on an activity would also fall within the ambit of Article 19(6) and hence count as an ex post restriction. Id.

54See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 628, 631 (India).

55See id.

56See generally M.P. Jain, Indian Constitutional Law 1036 (2005).

57See Ugar Sugar Works Ltd. v. Delhi Admin., A.I.R. 2001 S.C. 1447, 1449–52 (India). The Ugar Sugar Works Ltd. v. Delhi Admin. case is an example of where the Supreme Court of India interpreted Article 14, which guarantees “equality before the law or the equal protection of laws,” to proscribe unfair discrimination and arbitrariness regardless of whether the activity in constitution was res extra commercium. India Const. art. 14; Ugar Sugar Works Ltd., A.I.R. 2001 S.C. at 1447 (India). An activity which is res extra commercium and hence a constitutional outcast is nevertheless entitled to this sole constitutional protection.

58See India Const. arts 301–07 (containing the right to interstate trade and commerce).

59See, e.g., Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (India); see also Datar, supra note 4, at 144. This has led to some absurdities, as Datar points out. Datar, supra note 4, at 144.

60See id. 134–36.

61See C.S.S. Motor Serv. v. Madras, A.I.R. 1953 (Madras H.C.) 279 (1952) (India), cited with approval in Ahmad v. Uttar Pradesh, 1954 A.I.R. 728, 740 (India).

62See Satpal & Co. v. Lt. Governor of Delhi, A.I.R. 1979 S.C. 1550, 1557 (India).

63The first known use of res extra commercium by the Supreme Court of India was in Mullick v. Debabrata Mullick, (1951) 38 A.I.R. S.C. 293, 301 (India). However, the phrase did not denote anything close to what Chief Justice Das’s R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala opinion, which purported to denote by it. Id.; Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 628 (India).

64See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 S.C.R. at 720 (India).

65Id.; Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368 (India); Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26 (2003) (India).

66R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 699 (India).

67Chief Justice Subba Rao was the earliest critic of the doctrine. Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1368 (India). Nearly four decades later, Justice Sinha was the most vociferous critic of the doctrine. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. at 26 (India).

68As shall be seen in Parts VII and VIII, despite later generations of Supreme Court Justices realizing the hidden police powers behind the doctrine of res extra commercium, they continue to criticize it.

69Daniel R. Coquillette, Mosses From an Old Manse: Another Look at Some Historical Property Cases About the Environment, 64 Cornell L. Rev. 761, 803 (1979); Sohm, supra note 2, § 59, at 302.

70Burdick, supra note 23, at 310.

71The terms nostro patrimonio and extra nostrum patrimonium were used interchangeably with in commercio and extra commercio, elsewhere also referred to as alicujus in bonis and nullius in bonis. Introduction to The Institutes of Justinian 36 (Thomas Sandars trans. 1883).

72Id.

73Id.; Datar, supra note 4, at 145.

74Id. at 145.

75The Parliament building, for instance, would fall under the class of res publicae.

76Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law 197 (1922).

77See generally Philip E. Steinber, The Social Construction of the Ocean, in 78 Cambridge Studies in International Relations 91 (Smith et al. eds., 2001). Wild animals which are referred to with the label “ferrae naturae” would fall under this class. Id.

78See Gerald Torres, Who Owns the Sky?, 19 Pace Envtl L. Rev. (Special Issue) 515, 529 n.4’ (2002) (citing Daniel R. Coquillette, Mosses From an Old Manse: Another Look at Some Historical Property Cases About the Environment, 64 Cornell L. Rev. 761, 803 n.196 (1979)).

79Coquillette, supra note 69, at 803.

80See Datar, supra note 4, 145 (“It is clear from these categories that morality had no role to play in the classification of property as res extra commercium.”).

81The concept of res extra commercium has lately come to assume great significance among international lawyers. See, e.g., Antonio Cassese, International Law in a Divided World 376–77 (1986); Kemal Baslar, The Concept of Common Heritage of Mankind in International Law, in 30 Developments in International Law 40–41 (1998).

82Introduction, supra note 71, at 36.

83See Mullick v. Mullick, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 293, 301 (India).

84See infra Parts V, VI.

85It will be argued in Part V, that the particular conception of police powers that purports to have this effect is the one propounded in the landmark case of Mugler v. Kansas. See infra Part V.

86As we shall see in Part V, police powers have traditionally meant different things to different people. One conception of the doctrine is the protection of health, safety,and morals. Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887) (“Lawful state legislation, in the exercise of the police powers bf the State, to prohibit the manufacture and sale within the State of spirituous, malt, vinous, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors, to be used as a beverage, may be enforced against persons who, at the time, happen to own property whose chief value consists in its fitness for such manufacturing purposes, without compensating them for the diminution in its value resulting from such prohibitory enactments.”); see also U.S. Const. amend. V.

87R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 A.I.R. S.C. at 699 (India).

88While R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala did not specifically invoke the police power doctrine, one Supreme Court decision before it purported to do so. See Bharucha v. Excise Comm’r, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 220, 223 (India) (“There is in this position an assumption of a fact which does not exist, that when the liquors are taken in excess the injuries are confined to the party offending. The injury, it is true, first falls upon him in his health, which the habit undermines; in his morals, which it weakens; and in the self-abasement which it creates. But as it leads to neglect of business and waste of property and general demoralisation, it affects those who are immediately connected with and dependent upon him. By the general concurrence of opinion of every civilized and Christian community, there are few sources of crime and misery to society equal to the dram shop, where intoxicating liquors, in small quantities, to be drunk at the time, are sold indiscriminately to all parties applying.” (quoting Crowley v. Christensen, 137 U.S. 86, 90–91 (1890))). However, the effect of Bharucha, unlike the doctrine of res extra commercium, does not constrict the scope of Article 19. India Const. art. 19; Bharucha, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 220 (India). Indeed, it could be argued that the Court could have arrived at its conclusion it invoking the police power doctrine. Bharucha, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 223 (India). The Court upheld restrictions on free trade under Article 19(6), which it could have done without having to invoke the police power doctrine at all. See Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1371–72 (India) (commenting on Bharucha, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 220 (India)). In Narula, Chief Justice Subba Rao stated that: “Indeed, a perusal of the entire judgment shows that the Court conceded the fundamental right but held that the said regulation operated as a reasonable restriction on the said rights.” Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1372 (citing Assam v. Kidwai, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 414, 418 (India))).

89R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 716 (India) (quoting Mansell v Beck (1956) 95 CLR 550 (Austl.)). Section 21(1) of the New South Wales Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 Act states: “Whosoever sells or offers for sale or accepts any money in respect of the purchase of any ticket or share in a foreign lottery shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 25 penalty units.” Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 (NSW) s 21(1) (Austl.). In the Australian Constitution, the commerce clause provides: “On the imposition of uniform duties of customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.” Australian Constitution s 92.

90See Mansell, 95 CLR at 596 (Austl.) (“[L]otteries were, from the moment of its first settlement, common and public nuisances and that, in general, it was impossible to conduct them except in violation of the law. Indeed it was impracticable for any person to conduct a lottery without achieving the status of a rogue and a vagabond.”). It must be noted that this idea of the police powers as the power of the State to supress nuisance or pernicious or immoral activities is one most familiar to U.S. constitutional law; we shall study this in greater detail in the Part V. See infra Part V. We shall also see in Part VI that before R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, Chief Justice Das had made abortive attempts to import the doctrine into Indian constitutional law. See infra part VI.

91Justice Taylor, equating the sale of lottery tickets to the sale of counterfeit coins or stolen goods or forged passports, stated:[A]lthough legislation prohibiting such transactions may, possibly, be thought to be legally justifiable pursuant to what has, on occasions, been referred to as a “police power,” I prefer to think that the subjects of such transactions are not, on any view, the subjects of trade and commerce as that expression is used in  and that the protection afforded by that section has nothing to do with such transactions even though they may require, for their consummation, the employment of instruments, whereby inter-State trade and commerce is commonly carried on.Mansell, 95 CLR at 586, 594 (Austl.) (opinion of Taylor, J.).

92Chief Justice Das’s terminology of extra commercium seems to have misled criticsbecause what was found in Mansell was the Roman law doctrine of REC1 and not complaints that Chief Justice Das invoked the judgment wrongly. Id. at 550; see infra note 96.

93Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 A.I.R. S.C. 699, 720 (India).

94The constriction of Article 19 (1)(g) is meant to narrow of the scope of the provision regarding certain activities (the ones that were purportedly immoral and noxious) and forces them to fall outside its purview. India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. (g). This is exactly what Justice Williams had done with Section 92 i.e. the interstate trade and commerce clause and lotteries which will be argued in the next section that this is what the police power doctrine does with some fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution. Mansell, 95 CLR at 550 (Austl.); See infra Part V.

95See supra Part III.

96Chief Justice Das’s terminology of extra commercium seems to have misled critics because what was found in Mansell v Beck was the Roman law doctrine of REC1, and not complaints that Chief Justice Das invoked the judgment wrongly. Mansell v Beck (1956) 95 CLR 550 (Austl.); M.P. Singh, Freedom of Trade and Commerce in India 115 (1985) (arguing that Mansell v Beck does not stand for the proposition that trade in lotteries is res extra commercium).

97R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, 1957 A.I.R. S.C. at 716 (India) (citing Mansell, 95 CLR at 570 (Austl.)).

98Though this argument does not play any further role in the present paper, it would not be out of place to mention that Chief Justice Das’s reliance on Mansell v Beck as an authority on police powers is questionable. The doctrine has been squarely rejected in several Australian High Court judgments. See, e.g., Amalgamated Soc’y of Eng’rs v Adelaide S.S. Co. (1920) 28 CLR 129, 146 (Austl.) (“But we conceive that American authorities, however illustrious the tribunals may be, are not a secure basis on which to build fundamentally with respect to our own Constitution. While in secondary and subsidiary matters they may, and sometimes do, afford considerable light and assistance, they cannot, for reasons we are about to state, be recognized as standards whereby to measure the respective rights of the Commonwealth and States under the Australian Constitution.”). “Whatever opinion we may hold as to the sufficiency of this reasoning, as applied to the United States Constitution, is really immaterial; for we have to construe the Australian Constitution.” Roughley v New South Wales (1928) 42 CLR 162, 197 (Austl.) (Higgens, J.) (“Moreover, in Australia we have to apply a specific provision of the constitution (Section 92), not to apply the subtle refinements of the doctrine as to ‘police power.’”).

99See generally Santiago Legarre, The Historical Background Of The Police Power, 9 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 745 (2007) (explaining the historical development of the police power doctrine in the judicial arena and legal scholarship).

100Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419, 443 (1827).

101See Legarre, supra note 99, at 745.

102See, e.g., Cook, supra note 3, at 322 (“No phrase is more frequently used and at the same time less understood . . . .”); Sax, supra note 3, at 36 n.6 (citations omitted) (citing Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 32 (1954)) (stating that the term “police power” has no exact definition).

103See Thomas Reed Powell, The Police Power in American Constitutional Law, 1 J. Comp. Legis. & Int’l L. 160 (1919) (“[S]uch remarks [that police powers is a dark continent] are helpful to readers already familiar with the toil & turmoil, which controversies over the police power have engendered. They may solace those, who have sought in vain to evolve some definition more precise. But they do not chart the way for explorers, to whom the police power is still an unknown land.”). Justice Hidayatuallah also quoted Reed Powell with approval in Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh. Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1951) 52 Crim. L.J. (H.C.) 1140 (India) (“The amount of literature on ‘due process’ & ‘police power’ is colosal [sic] & the conflict in the decisions bewildering.”).

104 Burgess, supra note 3, at 136 (“[T]he police power. . . is the ‘dark continent’ of our jurisprudence. It is the convenient repository of everything for which our juristic classifications can find no other place.”).

105The aim of this Article is to point out the incongruity of the specific conception of police powers the Supreme Court of India sought to import with the structure of the Constitution of India.

106See infra Part VI.

107See Legarre, supra note 99, at 785–93.

108D. Benjamin Barros, The Police Power and the Takings Clause, 58 U. Miami L. Rev. 471, 475 (2004); see also Cook, supra note 3, at 329. Though this reading does have many takers, it may be problematic: If police powers are equivalent to the whole gamut of residuary powers of the state, the term “police powers” is deprived of all utility as a classifying label. See Christopher Supino, The Police Power and “Public Use”: Balancing the Public Interest Against Private Rights through Principled Constitutional Distinctions, 110 W. Va. L. Rev. 711, 724 (“First, to the extent that police power is a mere synonym for state power, the term possesses almost no analytical utility . . . [a] second reason to reject this rationale is the fact that the text of the Brown v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden opinions strongly suggest that Justice Marshall meant the term ‘police power’ to connote something vastly more limited than the entire panoply of the states’ ‘residual sovereignty.’” (citations omitted)) It will not, however, be the purpose of this Article to argue why the wide scope reading is unsatisfactory.

109See, e.g., Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419, 444 (1827); see also New York v. Miln, 36 (11 Pet.) U.S. 102, 128 (1837); Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 (16 Pet.) , 625 (1842); Supino, supra note 114 at 723,728 ;

110E.g., Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 53 (1905) (“[B]roadly stated and without, at present, any attempt at a more specific limitation, relate to the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the public.”); see also Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560, 560 (1991) (“The States’ traditional police power is defined as the authority to provide for the public health, safety, and morals . . .”); Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, 31 (1885) (“[T]he power of the State, sometimes termed its police power, to prescribe regulations to promote the health, peace, morals, education, and good order of the people, and to legislate so as to increase the industries of the State, develop its resources and add to its wealth and prosperity.”); Christopher Wolfe, Moving Beyond Rhetoric, 57 Fla. L. Rev. 1065, 1075 (2005) (“[T]raditional police powers . . . extend to the protection of public health, safety, welfare, and morals.” (citations omitted)). The earliest use of the narrow scope of police power was in Alger, which was a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 1851. Commonwealth v. Alger, 61 Mass. (7 Cush.) 53 (1851). It was in Alger that the power of eminent domain was clearly distinguished from police power and this was expanded upon in Mugler v. Kansas, which is one of the most significant cases premised on the narrow scope reading of police powers. Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887).

111The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, includes the “takings clause,” which provides, “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” U.S. Const. amend. V. However, where property is taken in pursuance of police powers, no compensation is payable under this clause. See generally Sax, supra note 3, at 36.

112See, e.g., Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 124, 147 (1876); see also David A. Thomas, Finding More Pieces for the Takings Puzzle: How Correcting History Can Clarify Doctrine, 75 U. Colo. L. Rev. 497, 544 (2004). Thomas points out that “police power regulations are valid if related to preserving or protecting the public health, safety, morals, or welfare is rooted in the nuisance-suppression origins of police power.” Id. He argues that the roots go back to the common law principle of Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, i.e., use your own property so as not to injure another’s property. Id. at 503; see Herbert Broom, A Selection of Legal Maxims, Classified and Illustrated 365 (1874), for a discussion of the history and ambit of the doctrine of sic utere tuo. See W.P. Wade, Subjection of Private Rights to Police Power, 6 S.L. Rev. N. Series 59, 62 (1881), and Arvo Van Alstyne, Taking or Damaging by Police Power: The Search for Inverse Condemnation Criteria, 44 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1 (1970), for discussion on the relationship between sic utero tuo and police power.

113In Part VI, this Article argues that it is the narrow scope reading of police powers which Chief Justice Das sought to import in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala under the verbal dressing of res extra commercium.

114Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623.

115Id. at 628.

116Sax, supra note 3, at 38; see also U.S. Const. amend. V (“Nor shall any person . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”); Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623.

117Mugler, 123 U.S. at 669.

118Id.

119Id. at 668–70.

120Id. at 668–69.

121This is typical of all judgments that endorse the narrow-scope reading of police powers, which is directed at maintaining health, safety,and morals.

122Mugler, 123 U.S. at 669. The noxious use doctrine can be traced back to Justice Shaw’s opinion in Alger. Commonwealth v. Alger, 61 Mass. (7 Cush.) 53, 86 (1851) (Shaw, J.) (arguing that an interference with a property involved in a noxious use does not need compensation because it doesn’t amount to a taking at all); see also Barros, supra note 108, at 481.

123See generally Sax, supra note 3, at 48 (arguing that the “noxious use” test “has a beguiling simplicity . . . and a perpetual appeal.”).

124See, e.g., Hadacheck v. Sebastian, 239 U.S. 394, 395 (1915) (zoning ordinance proscribing manufacture of bricks held to not amount to taking of propertyeven though value of land diminished almost completely); See William Treanor, The Original Understanding of the Takings Clause and the Political Process, 95 Colum. L. Rev. 782, 797 (for a discussion of cases where the narrow scope of the doctrine of police powers was used.) See also Ernest Freund, Police Power 268–269, 568–69(1904).

125Mugler, 123 U.S. at 668–69; see generally Sax, supra note 3. An exercise of eminent domain, on the other hand was to be accompanied by just compensation.

126See Gardner v. Michigan, 199 U.S. 325, 330 (1905) (holding that the abatement of a noxious use is not a “taking” of property, since what is noxious can hardly be regarded as “property” at all).

127See Treanor, supra note 124, at 801

128This aspect of Justice Harlan’s judgment assumes special significance in the context of the present Article as it will be argued later in Part VI that in R.M.D. Charmarbagwala Chief Justice Das seeks to employ the police power doctrine in the very same mode that Mugler sought to, and that such a mode of exercise of police powers is incongruous with the scheme of the Constitution of India. Infra Part VI.

129Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623.

130The first justification finds resonance in Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion in Mahon. Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 417 (1922) (Brandeis, dissenting).

131John Humbach, A Unifying Theory for the Just-Compensation Cases: Takings, Regulation and Public Use, 34 Rutgers L. Rev. 243, 253 (1982) (“[A] taking of property under the just-compensation clause is almost always found when government acts impair or destroy legally actionable rights; conversely, such a taking is almost never found where the government’s acts merely affect the freedom to use and enjoy.”). Humbach argues, “the distinction between rights as against others and freedoms to use appears to fix the line between takings and regulation.” Id. at 253–54. In making this distinction, Humbach relies on Wesley N. Hohfeld’s celebrated taxonomy of jural relations. Id.

132Id. at 253–54.

133See Wesley N. Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied in Judicial Reasoning, 23 Yale L.J. 16 (1913) [hereinafter Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions]; Wesley N. Hohfeld Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied in Judicial Reasoning, 26 Yale L.J. 710 (1917); see also Nigel Simmonds, Introduction to W.N. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, at ix (2001).

134The eight fundamental legal conceptions stemmed from Hohfeld’s dissatisfaction with the idea that all the jural relations can be reduced to rights and duties. Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions, supra note 133, at 29. The tendency to think so, he thought, was the chief obstacle to the clear comprehension and resolution of legal issues. Id. Hohfeld’s eight fundamental legal conceptions were sui generis, according to him, and were best illustrated as opposites and correlatives rather than through formal definitions. Id. at 30.

135Id. at 30 (“The strictly fundamental legal relations are after all sui generis; and thus it is that attempts at formal definition are always unsatisfactory . . . .”).

136Id. at 28.

137Id. at 29.

138Id. at 36.

139Id. at 30. Glanville Williams called them “contradictories” and so did a vast number of other legal philosophers. See Glanville Williams, The Concept of Legal Liberty, 56 Colum. L. Rev. 1129, 1135 (1956); see also Matthew H. Kramer, Rights Without Trimmings, in A Debate over Rights 8 (Matthew H. Kramer, N. Simmonds, & Hillel Steiner eds. 2002); Philip Mullock, The Hohfeldian Jural Opposite, 13 Ratio 158 (1971).

140Arthur L. Corbin, Legal Analysis and Terminology, 29 Yale L.J. 163, 166 (1919).

141Id.; Glanville, supra note145, at 1135.

142Corbin, supra note 140, at 166; Glanville, supra note 136, at 1135.

143See Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions, supra note 133, at 30, for Hohfeld’s complete typology in tabulated form.

144The notions of freedom and liberty are used interchangeably in the Article. Hohfeld himself uses the term liberty, but we prefer the term freedom.

145Id at 32, 33.

146Id at 33.

147See Albert Kocoureck, Jural Relations 15 (2d ed. 1928).

148Id. at 15–16.

149To use the analogy of a building structure—the walls of the structure are like duties and liberty is like the space enclosing it. The law cannot create liberties any more than the constructors can create the space enclosing the walls. The claim is that a person has the freedom to do anything that she has the natural capacity to do unless a duty is imposed by law to curtail the liberty. Thus freedom or liberty has the character of an extra legal quantity; in that in the absence of a duty specifically imposed by law the person has the legal liberty to do or abstain from doing the act in question as she pleases. This is well captured in one of those pithy aphorisms as old as the Common Law itself, which many a lawyer has internalized—“whatever is not prohibited is permitted.” The “source” of the liberty under the law is never a law; though it may be curtailed by a legal duty. See Kocoureck, supra note 147.

150Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions, supra note 133, at 35.

151Id.

152The legal position set out in Mugler was considerably shaken by Justice Holmes’ majority opinion in Mahon. Compare Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 415 (1922). Mahon held, contrary to Mugler, that even an exercise of police powers could violate the just compensation clause and amount to a taking. Id. Justice Brandeis’s dissenting opinion, however, invokes and relies on Justice Harlan’s opinion in Mugler. Id. at 416, 418 (citing Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 668–69 (1887))). Mahon is discussed in greater detail later in the present section.

153Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 416–17 (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

154Id.

155See Humbach, supra note 131, at 254.

156Id.

157Sax, supra note 3, at 39.

158See Gardner v. Michigan, 199 U.S. 325, 330–31 (1905) (holding that the abatement of a noxious use is not a “taking” of property at all, since what is noxious can hardly be regarded as “property” at all).

159See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 668 (1887).

160See First English Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Cnty. of L.A., 482 U.S. 304, 315 (1987); William B. Stoebuck, Police Power, Takings, and Due Process, 37 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1057 (1980)

161David A. Thomas, Finding More Pieces for the Takings Puzzle: How Correcting History Can Clarify Doctrine, 75 U. Colo. L. Rev. 497, 500 (2004) (labeling a government act as an exercise of police power automatically creates an exemption from the obligation of having to pay compensation under the Fifth Amendment).

162See Mugler, 123 U.S. at 623. “Ex ante” restriction and “constriction” are terms not employed in the literature on the subject or by the courts. However, from the explanation of ex ante regulations as discussed in Part VI, it would be palpably clear that the effect of Mugler was to impose an ex ante regulation on the right to receive just compensation under the Fifth Amendment, thus constricting the scope of the right. See discussion infra Part VI.

163Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393 (1922).

164Keystone Bituminous Coal Assoc. v. DeBenedictis, 480 U.S. 470, 506, 508 (1987) (Rehnquist, C.J., Powell, O’Connor & Scalia, JJ., dissenting) (citing Penn Cent. Transp. Co. v. New York, 438 U.S. 104, 127 (1978)).

165Mahon, 260 U.S. at 415–15.

166Id. at 412.

167Id. at 416 (Holmes, J.) (“We are in danger of forgetting that a strong public desire to improve the public condition is not enough to warrant achieving the desire by a shorter cut than the constitutional way of paying for the change. As we already have said, this is a question of degree—and therefore cannot be disposed of by general propositions.”).

168Id.

169Id. at 413.

170See id. at 393.

171Stoebuck, supra note 160, at 1063. “Mahon is hopelessly at odds with Mugler. The United States Supreme Court placed in its constitutional grab-bag a doctrine contrary to Mugler’s, though the Court to this day refuses to acknowledge this contradiction.” Id.; see also Treanor, supra note 124, at 745 (“Since that decision[Mahon], the Supreme Court has been unable to define clearly what kind of regulations run afoul of Holmes's vague standard.”).

172Mahon, 260 U.S. at 416–22 (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

173See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887).

174Mahon, 260 U.S. at 417.

175See, e.g., Sax, supra note 3, at 37 ( “The principle upon which the cases can be rationalized is yet to be discovered by the bench: what commentators have called the ‘crazy-quilt pattern of Supreme Court doctrine’ has effectively been acknowledged by the Court itself . . . .” (footnotes omitted) (quoting Allison Dunham, Griggs v. Allegheny County in Perspective: Thirty Years of Supreme Court Expropriation Law, 1962 Sup. Ct. Rev. 63)); See generally Thomas A. Hippler, Comment, Reexamining 100 Years of Supreme Court Regulatory Taking Doctrine: The Principles of “Noxious Use,” “Average Reciprocity of Advantage,” and “Bundle of Rights” from Mugler to Keystone Bituminous Coal, 14 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 653 (1987); Frank I. Michelman, Property Utility and Fairness: Comments on the Ethical Foundations of “Just Compensation” Law, 80 Harv. L. Rev. 1165 (1967); Joseph Sax, Takings, Private Property and Public Rights, 81 Yale L.J. 149 (1972); Stoebuck, supra note 160.

176Mahon, 260 U.S. at 416.

177See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887); Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699 (India).

178See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701.

179Though separated by centuries, Chief Justice Das’s opinion in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, although not using the language of police powers, closely mirrors Samuel Pufendorf’s view that regulations suppressing prodigality and gambling are valid exercises of police powers. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701 (India); see Legarre, supra note 99, at 756 (“But now this Power we are here speaking of, may, I think, be reduc’d properly enough to three Heads: First, to the Right of making Laws to direct such a Proportion in the Use and Consumption of certain Goods and Commodities, as the State of the Commonwealth requires. Secondly, to the Right of levying Taxes. Thirdly, to the Exercise of the Transcendental Propriety. . . . To the first Head we may reduce all Sumptuary Laws . . . Laws against Gaming, and Prodigality . . . As, disregard Laws that forbid certain Subjects to possess certain Kinds of Goods . . . .” (emphasis added) (quoting Samuel Pufendorf, The Law of Nature and Nations 825–26 (1672))).

180R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701 (India).

181See Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. at 27 (India).

182See id.

183Seervai, supra note 1, § 2.138, at 238.

184India Const. art. 21.

185U.S. Const. amend. XIV (“[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”).

186See generally Seervai, supra note 1, at 238 (“If American decisions need to be used with caution, doctrines evolved by the U.S. Sup. Ct. in the context of the U.S. Constitution require to be scrutinised even more carefully before introducing them into our Constitution.”).

187Manoj Mate, The Origins of Due Process in India: The Role of Borrowing in Personal Liberty and Preventive Detention Cases, 28 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 216, 221 (2010).

188Id. at 222.Rau apparently was able to convince Ayyar, the crucial swing vote on the committee, of the potential pitfalls associated with substantive interpretation of due process, which Frankfurter had discussed extensively with Rau. Ayyar, in ultimately upholding the new position on the floor of the Assembly in December 1948, supported removing the due process clause on the grounds that substantive due process could “impede social legislation.” With the switch in Ayyar’s vote, the Drafting Committee endorsed Rau’s new preferred language-replacing the due process clause with the phrase according to the procedure established by law . . . .Id. This social legislation included legislation involving redistribution of resources, as well as legislation pertaining to a minimum-wage, workweek hours, and debt alleviation. 5 B. Shiva Rao, The Framing of India’s Constitution 233 (2004).

189Rao, supra note 188, at 232.

190Id. at 234.

191Compare India Const. art. 21 (“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” (emphasis added)), with Nihonkoku Kenpō [Kenpō] [Constitution], art. 31 (Japan) (“No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.” (emphasis added)); see also Granville Austin, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation 131 (1966).

192Seervai, supra note 1, at 238.

193See id. at 239.

194Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 38 (India).

195Id. 72–73, 100 (quoting William Bennett Munro, The Government of the United States: National, State, and Local 522 (5th ed. 1946)).

196Id. at 118.

197Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597 (India).

198Cooper v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1970 S.C. 564 (India).

199Batra v. Delhi Admin., A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1675 (India).

200Does this mean that because Gandhi has read Article 21 to include the due process clause, the path for the entry of the police power doctrine in the Constitution has now been cleared? No such conclusion need follow at all. It must be noted, that though the language of due process that was used by Justice Krishna Iyer, the point of the court’s decision was to introduce substantive constraints on the government’s power to circumscribe the right to life. Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597 (India). Gopalan had denied any such constraints. Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 118 (India). From this it does not follow that an elaborate package of police powers and due process jurisprudence ought automatically be imported to India. In any event, Gandhi was a decision on Article 21, which does not have reasonable restrictions clause unlike Article 19 which did have a reasonable restrictions clause. Hence, if there is any scope for a police power doctrine under the law as altered by Gandhi, it will be in relation to Article 21 alone. Not in relation to Article 19(1) which has reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) to 19(6). See India Const. arts. 19, 21; Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597 (India).

201Shrinivas v. Sholapur Spinning & Weaving Co., A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 119, 137 (Bose J., concurring) (India).

202W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92 (1953) (India).

203Id. at 92, 98.

204Chowdhary v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 50, 56 (Mukerjea, J., dissenting) (India).

205See, e.g., Gopalan v. Madras, A.I.R. 1950 S.C. 27, 118 (India); Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. at 92 (India); Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 56.

206See Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 59 (Das, C.J., dissenting).

207Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 63–65. As it will be argued later, Chief Justice Das’s observations on the issue of police powers are obiter dictum. See infra note 225. This attempt received criticism from Justice Sastri in Bose since the Attorney General, appearing for the government, canvassed an argument identical to the one advanced by Chief Justice Das in Chowdhary.

208Id.

209See infra text accompanying notes 225–28.

210Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 41, 45–46.

211Compare India Const. art. 14 (“Equality before law: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”), with U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1 (“No State shall . . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”).

212India Const. art. 19, § 1, (f).The use of past tense is deliberate. Article 19(1)(f) was deleted in 1978 and Article 31 was amended in 1954. The Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978, § 2, repealing India Const. art. 19, § 1, cl. (f); The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, § 2, amending India Const. art. 31, § 2. The subsequent history of these provisions is immaterial for the purposes of this paper.

213Compare India Const. art. 31, § 2, repealed by The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, § 2 ([N]o property . . . shall be taken . . . or acquired for public purposes under any law . . . unless the law provides for compensation for the property taken . . . .”), with U.S. Const. amend. V (“[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”)

214India Const. art. 31 § 1.

215Id. art. 31, § 2, repealed by The Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, § 2.

216W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96–97 (India).

217Id.

218Chowdhary v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 63 (India).One can conceive of circumstances where the State may have to deprive a person of his property without acquiring or taking possession of the same. For example, in any emergency, in order to prevent a fire spreading, the authorities may have to demolish an intervening building. This deprivation of property is supported in the United States of America as an exercise of “Police Power.” This deprivation of property is different from acquisition or taking of possession of property which goes by the name of “Eminent Domain” in the American Law. The construction suggested implies that our Constitution has dealt with only the law of “Eminent Domain”, but has not provided for deprivation of property in exercise of “Police Powers.” I am not prepared to adopt such construction, for I do not feel pressed to do so by the language used in Art[icle] 31. On the contrary, the language of cl[ause] (1) of Art[icle] 31 is wider than that of cl[ause] (2), for deprivation of property may well be brought about otherwise than by acquiring or taking possession of it. I think cl[ause] (1) enunciates the general principle that no person shall be deprived of his property except by authority of law, which, put in a positive form, implies that a person may be deprived of his property, provided he is so deprived by authority of law. No question of compensation arises under cl[ause] (1).Id. A similar argument underlies the takings regime led by Mugler v. Kansas. Indeed, it will be argued, Chief Justice Das’s argument closely mirrors Justice Harlan’s in Mugler.

219Id.

220Id. at 63–64 (citing Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 123 U.S. 393 (1922)).

221See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623 (1887). Ironically, it is Chief Justice Sastri’s opion in Bose expressly rejecting Chief Justice Das’s reasoning that identical to Justice Holmes’s opinion in Mahon.

222Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 123 U.S. 393, 417 (1922) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). Justice Holmes had brought this proposition into question by holding that when exercise of police powers went too far, it would amount to a taking and hence was an exercise of eminent domain. Id. at 415 (majority opinion).

223For Indian judgments prior to Chowdhary, albeit not of the Supreme Court of India that do rely on Mugler specifically, see infra text accompanying notes 242–46.

224W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 92, 96 (India).

225Id.

226 Id. at 97.

227Id.

228Shrinivas v. Sholapur Spinning & Weaving Co., A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 119, 137 (India). See generally Suchindran Baskar Narayan, Vivian Bose and the Living Constitution: A Tribute, 5 Indian J. Const. L. 1, 3 (2011).

229Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, [ ] (India).

230Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court where the full strength of the bench sits to hear cases, the Supreme Court of India typically hears cases in benches of two or three (called division bench) or benches of five or more (constitution benches). A case can only be overruled by a bench of larger strength. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, which was a judgment of a five judge bench of the Supreme Court, could not have overruled the judgments speaking against police powers. Moreover, although all of this remains in the realm of conjecture, it is probably safe to assume that a unanimous judgment—which is what Chief Justice Das got in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala—would have been impossible had he invoked the police power doctrine.

231Gopalan was decided by a full strength of the Supreme Court which in 1950 was six judges. Bose was decided by a bench of five judges, which was also the strength of the bench deciding. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala.

232Datar, supra note 4, at 146.

233Id. at 146–47.

234 R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701, 720.

235Datar, supra note 4, at 146–47.

236Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 646 (1887).

237See R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala , A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720–21; see also Kaushal v. Union of India, 1978 A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1457, 1473 (India) (Krishnaiyer, J.) (recognizing the noxious use doctrine as the basis of police powers).

238R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala , A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 701, 720–21.

239Id. at 716 (“It is important to observe the distinction that gambling is not trade, commerce and [sic] intercourse within the meaning of S. [sic] 92 otherwise the control of gambling in Australia would be attended with constitutional difficulties.” (citing Mansell v Beck (1956) 95 CLR 550, 570 (Austl.))).

240See generally R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699.

241Id.

242Sheoshankar v. Madhya Pradesh (1951) Crim. L.J. (Bombay H.C.) 1140 (1951) (India). Interestingly, the judgment in Shoeshankar was never challenged in the Supreme Court.

243Bantasingh v. Madhya Pradesh, A.I.R. 1958 (M.P. H.C.) 193 (March 29, 1957) (India).

244R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala , A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720–22. However, unlike Justice Hidayatullah, Chief Justice Das does not openly invoke either Mugler or the police power doctrine.

245Seervai, supra note 1, at 696.

246 See, e.g., Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1371–72 (India).

247See, e.g., Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India).

248The police power doctrine has gone well beyond the scope of res extra commercium and has been applied in areas as diverse as law and order and planning regulations. See, e.g., Comm’r of Police v. Avadhuta, (2004) 2 S.C.R. 1019 (India); Friends Colony Dev. Comm. v. Orissa, A.I.R. 2005 S.C. 1 (India).

249See Datar, supra note 4, at 140–41.This wrongful application of police powers has continued till date. The police power doctrine has been repeatedly followed in a number of cases . . . .. . . .. . . . [s]ubsequent cases have blindly accepted this doctrine without deliberating whether the theory of police power would be necessary in the light of Articles 19(2) to 19(6) in India.Id. at 140–41 (footnote omitted).

250Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1371–72 (India).

251Id. at 1371.

252Id. at 1368–69.

253Id.

254Id. at 1373.

255Id. at 1371–72.

256Id. at 1368–69.

257Id. at 1369

258Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, [] (India).

259Id.

260Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371; R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720.

261Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371; R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. at 720.

262Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1371.

263Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26. (India).

264Id.

265Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India).

266Punjab v. Devans, (2004) 11 S.C.C. 26.

267The doctrine was questioned only once between the 70’s until the last decade, but the questioning was a tentative and hesitant one. See Kaushal v. Union of India, 1978 A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1457 (India). Justice Krishna Iyer at one place argues “Any government with worker’s weal and their families’ survival at heart will use its ‘police power’ under Article 19(6) read with section 59(f)(v) of the Act to forbid alcohol sales on pay days.” Id. at 124. While also maintaining that “[w]hile the police power as developed in the American jurisprudence and constitutional law, may not be applicable in terms to the Indian Constitutional law, there is much that is common between that doctrine and the reasonableness doctrine under Art. 19 of the Indian Constitution.” Id. at 148.

268Action Comm., Unaided Pvt. Schs. v. Dir. of Educ., Delhi, (2009) 12 S.C.R. 289 (India); Garg v. Hotel Assoc. of India, (2007) 12 S.C.R. 991 (India); Punjab v. Devans, 11 S.C.C. 26.

269See Garg, (2007) 12 S.C.R. at 1007–08. Here, Justice Sinha restricted the applicability of the doctrine of res extra commercium by holding that even if trade in liquor were to be res extra commercium, it does not render contracts employment contracts pertaining to serving liquor, illegal or contrary to public policy. Id.

270Punjab v. Devans, 11 S.C.C. 26.

271Justice Sinha does note in passing that underlying the doctrine of res extra commercium is the police power doctrine. But he does nothing to question the incongruity of the doctrine in the scheme of the constitution of India. Id.

272Id. at118.

273Id. 118,134.

274Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 712 (India).

275Id.

276See supra Part VI.

277Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India).

278Id.

279Shankar v. Dy. Excise & Tax’n Comm’r, (1975) 3 S.C.R. 271 (India).

280Id.

281Id. at 277. Justice Chandrachud places reliance on Nashirwar. However, even in Nashirwar there was no justification for the basis of importing the police power doctrine into the Constitutional law of India. See Nashirwar v. Madhya Pradesh, (1975) 2 S.C.R. 861 (1974) (India).

282See supra Subpart VI.B. On the contrary, Justice Chandrachud argues that police power is a well-accepted and settled doctrine of Indian constitutional law and it was Narula which had struck a discordant note. Needless to say, there was little evidence to support Justice Chandrachud’s proposition. Id.

283Shankar, (1975) 3 S.C.R. at [271].

284Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Karnataka, 1995 SCC (1) 574 (India).

285Id.

286Id. at 913.

287Id. An earlier case, Synthetics & Chemicals v. Uttar Pradesh, 1990 S.C.C. (1) 109 (India), clarified the constitution status of trade in non-potable liquor. However, a different set of principles have long been thought to apply to potable and non-potable liquor. Non-potable liquor has not been thought to be res extra commercium. Id.

288Khoday Distilleries, (1995) 1 SCC 574 (India).

289Id. at 606.

290Id. at 608.

291Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 717 (India).

292Khoday Distilleries, (1995) 1 SCC 574 (India).

293Godawat Pan Masala I.P. Ltd. v. Union of India, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India).

294Id.

295Id at 99.

296Id.

297Id.

298Id.

299Id.

300Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 718 (India).

301Godawat Pan Masala, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India).

302India Const. art. 19, §1, cl. g.

303Id. art. 13, § 1.Godawat Pan Masala I.P. Ltd. V. Union of India, (2004) 7 SCC 68 (India).

304See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661 (1887). In what follows, this Article will be concerned only with the narrow scope reading of the police power doctrine in cases such as Mugler v. Kansas.

305See supra Part V. It was argued that Mugler has the effect of constricting the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Id.

306This Article will leave open here to question of whether this argument is extendable to Article 21. Articles 19 and 21 are very different in nature, as Article 21 does not have the equivalent of reasonable restrictions. India Const. arts. 19, 21.

307The argument advanced here is valid for all fundamental freedoms in Article 19 and the reasonable restrictions in Articles 19(2) to 19(6). However, to avoid clutter this Article only refers to Article 19(1)(g) and reasonable restrictions imposable under Article 19(6).

308See Datar, supra note 4, at 146.

309In what follows, I will use the term “freedom” instead of “freedoms/liberties.”

310Chintamanrao v. Madhya Pradesh, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 118 (India).

311Id. at 119.

312See supra discussion in Part V.

313Kocoureck, supra note 147, at 15.

314John Humbach, A Unifying Theory for the Just-Compensation Cases: Takings, Regulation and Public Use, 34 Rutgers L. Rev. 243, 259 (1982).

315Kocoureck, supra note 147, at 16.

316W. Bengal v. Bose, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 95 (India).

317Id. At 95–96 (emphasis added). Chief Justice Sastri’s opinion makes a clear distinction between rights and freedoms and argues that Article 19 pertains to freedoms while provisions such as Article 31 pertain to rights. Id.

318Id.

319See Datar, supra note 4, 145–48.

320Id. at 139.

321Narula v. Jammu & Kashmir, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 1368, 1373 (India).

322Id. at 1369.

323India Const. art. 19.

324Narula, A.I.R. 1967 S.C. at 1368.

325India Const. art. 19, §1.

326Id. art. 19, §6.

327Id. art. 19.

328Id.

329India Const. art. 19, §6.

330Khoday Distilleries Ltd v. Karnataka, 1995 SCC (1) 574 (India).

331See id. at 605.

332See Seervai, supra note 1, 697–98.

333Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R.1957 S.C. 699, 718–19 (India) (Das, C.J.); see also Kaushal v. Union of India, 1978 A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1457 (India) (Iyer, J.) (“The contrary argument that all economic activities were entitled to freedom as ‘trade’ subject to reasonable restrictions which the Legislature might impose, was dealt with by the learned Chief Justice in a sharp and forceful presentation.”) .

334Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R.1957 S.C. 699 (India).

335India Const. art. 246 read with VII Schedule.

336Id. art. 19.

337Id.

338Mun. Corp. of Ahmedabad v. Usmanbhai, A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 1205, 1212 (India).

339See id. (“The expression in the interest of general public is of wide import comprehending public order, public health, public security, morals, economic welfare of the community and the objects mentioned in Part IV of the Constitution.”) See also Maharashtra v. Rao, A.I.R. 1970 S.C. 1157 (India).

340India Const. art. 19. Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430.

341See Kumar v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1960 S.C. 430 (India) .

342Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries Ltd., 11 S.C.C. 26, 132.

343U.S. Const. amend V.

344Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 623 (1887).

345Id.

346Id. at 663.

347Id. at 664.

348India Const. art. 19.

349Chowdhuri v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. 41, 42 (1950) (India).

350Id. at 63. It was argued that though Chief Justice Das ostensibly invokes Mahon, he seems to draw upon Justice Brandeis’ dissent, which in turn supports Mugler. Thus it is Mugler that Chief Justice Das was invoking in Chiranjitlal though he doesn’t expressly admit to doing so.

351Pa. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 414 (1922).

352India Const. art. 19.

353Chowdhuri, A.I.R. 1951 S.C. at 69.

354Id.

355U.S. Const. amend V.

356India Const. art. 19.

357Id.

358Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, A.I.R. 1957 S.C. 699, 717–18 (India).

359Id.

360See Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 653 (1887).

361Id. at 633.

362India Const. art. 19.

363Id.

364India Const. art. 19, § 6.

365Id. art. 19.

366Id.

367Id.

368Id. art. 19 § 6.

369Id.