Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in India Upsc

Public Interest Litigation (PIL)

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a litigation that is undertaken to secure public interest. It is also used to demonstrate the availability of justice to the disadvantages parties or people. PIL was introduced by Justice P.N.Bhagwati after relaxation of traditional rule of locus standi.

  • Any citizen of India can approach the courts for public case by filing a petition under:
    • The Supreme court by Article 32
    • The High Court by Article 226
    • The Magistrate Court under section 133 of the CRPC.
  • The Guideline provided that the Public Litigation can be filed under the following categories:
    • Bonded Labour matters.
    • Neglected Children
    • Non-Payment of Minimum Wages.
    • Petitions from Jails complaining of Harassment, death in Jail, Speedy Trail as a fundamental right
    • Petitions against police for
      • refusing to register a case
      • Harassment of Bride
      • Bride Burning
      • Rape
      • Murder
      • Kidnapping
    • Petitions complaining harassment or torture of persons belonging to SC and ST
    • Petitions pertaining to environmental pollution

The PIL Jurisdiction forged by the Supreme Court is an extension of its Jurisdiction under Article 32 of the constitution.

PIL is not in the nature of adversary litigation but it is a challenge and an opportunity to the government and its officers to make such issues as human rights meaningful to the deprived and vulnerable section of the society and to ensure socio-economic justice.

Public litigation cases can be filed against the central, state government, municipal authority but not against any private party.

Recently many public litigations, cases are filled based on the area of Public interest.

Recent PIL Cases

In 2005, a case was decided by the Supreme Court Named Common Cause Society Vs Union of India. The Petitioner filed a PIL, praying to the court to enact a road safety act in view of the numerous road accidents.

PIL case, Sangammal Pandey Vs State of UP, the Lucknow bench of the High Court stayed constructive activities near Kanshiram memorial up to a specific date.

In the Peoples Union for Democratic Rights Vs Union of India case, the supreme court permitted Public interest Litigations at the instance of ‘Public spirited citizens’ for the enforcement of constitutional and legal rights of any person or group of persons who because of their socially or economically disadvantaged position are unable to approach the courts for relief.

PIL is part of the process of ‘participate justice’ and standing in civil litigation, of that pattern which has liberal reception at the judicial doorsteps.

In the Paramanand Katara Vs Union of India case, the supreme court held in the PIL filed by a human rights activist fighting for the general public interest.

That is a paramount obligation of every member of the medical profession to give medical aid to every injured citizen as soon as possible without waiting for any procedural formalities.

* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.