May 28, 2024
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Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a vehicle that enables the voice of the marginalized to be recognized in the venerable passageways of justice, and it serves as a beacon of optimism in the annals of legal advocacy. PIL is far more than just a legal tool; it is a force in society as a whole a change agent, and an opponent of democracy. public interest litigation in india, in its most basic sense, is the spirit of justice; it empowers individuals to hold government officials accountable while enhancing society.        

what is public interest litigation?

  • A case or petition brought before a court to defend, uphold, or enforce the public interest is known as a public interest litigation (PIL).
  • The term “public interest” refers to a right or interest that is held by a particular class of people, society, or group of individuals.
  • PILs are filed to address issues that impact a community’s or the public’s overall legal rights.

public interest litigation

There is no definition of public interest lawsuit in any act or statute. Judges have construed it to take the general public’s intent into account. There are several areas in which a pil case may be filed, even though the public interest is the exclusive focus of these cases.

  • The substance or methodology of public policy
  • Order municipal officials to carry out a public function.
  • The infringement of fundamental rights, such as those related to religion

public interest litigation in india: Significance

  • Giving the general public access to the courts so they can seek legal remedy is the goal of PIL.
  • PIL is a crucial tool for bringing about social change, upholding the rule of law, and hastening the process of striking a balance between justice and the law.
  • Encouraging the impoverished and marginalized to have access to justice was the initial goal of PILs.
  • It is a crucial instrument for ensuring that those who have been denied rights can access human rights.
  • It democratizes everyone’s access to justice. Petitioners on behalf of people unable or unable to afford to do so may be any person or organization.
  • It supports the judicial oversight of state-run facilities like as protective homes, asylums, and prisons.
  • It is an essential tool for implementing the concept of judicial review.
  • The establishment of Public Interest Litigations ensures increased public involvement in judicial scrutiny of administrative action.

who can file a pil?

  • Article 32 of the Indian Constitution allows any Indian person or organization to submit a public interest litigation petition before the Supreme Court, while Article 226 of the Indian Constitution gives the High Courts the same authority.
  • Nonetheless, the individual or group submitting the PIL petition needs to demonstrate to the judge that the PIL is being brought on behalf of a matter of public interest and that it will be advantageous to the general public.
  • A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) may only be brought against the Central, State, or Local Governments; it may not be brought against private parties.
  • A government is defined as the Parliament of India, the Legislature of each State, and any other local or other authorities that are under the jurisdiction of the government.

advantages of public interest litigation

  • By ensuring that they make accurate decisions and operate fairly within the bounds of their authority, it guarantees that public bodies are held accountable.
  • By assisting judges in comprehending and creating laws, it broadens the application of the law.
  • By highlighting an important topic, it gives marginalized people a voice and a platform to campaign for their rights.
  • Through debates and media attention, it contributes to the public’s increased understanding of important issues.
  • People can file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to look for a fair resolution to a public issue because there are no court costs.
  • It aids in drawing attention to more general public concerns related to human rights, the environment, and consumer welfare.

pil cases: Important Rulings

  • Inthe case of Parmanand Katara v Union of India, this lawsuit was brought in order to allow hospitals to address emergency accident cases without being concerned about ongoing police investigations. The ruling mandated that any hospital or physician, whether public or private, must give a victim of a car accident emergency care right away.
  • In the case of Vishaka v State of Rajasthan, this case has to do with the problem of sexual harassment at work. The consequence was the publication of the Vishaka Guidelines in 1997, which gave employers information on reporting incidents of sexual harassment at work, as well as a definition of the term and a list of prevention measures.

Three decades ago, public interest litigation would have never imagined the astounding effects it has created. The judicial intervention has provided relief to a plethora of victims, including beggars, exploited youngsters, degraded bonded labourers, tortured during trials, and women and girls incarcerated.

Public Interest Litigation FAQs

  1. What are the grounds for public interest litigation?

Any issue affecting the public interest, including road safety, pollution, construction hazards, terrorism, abandoned children, crimes against women, casual worker exploitation, bonded labour, nonpayment of minimum wages to workers, adulteration of food, disruption of the natural balance, preservation of heritage and culture, etc., may be brought forward through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by anyone.

  • When Public Interest Litigation Cannot be filed?

The following cases will not be accepted as Public Interest Litigations; instead, they may be filed in the PIL Cell or returned to the petitioners, as appropriate:

  • Issues between landlords and tenants.
  • Matters concerning service, pension and gratuity
  • What are the principles of PIL?

The following guidelines were established by the Supreme Court to prevent improper use of the PIL: The court must support sincere and legitimate PILs and successfully dissuade and limit the PIL field for unrelated reasons. Prior to considering the PIL, the Court ought to initially confirm the petitioner’s qualifications.

  • How to file PIL without a lawyer?
  • Submitting registered letter petitions to the Chief Justice of the relevant court along with pertinent facts and documentation.
  • Through the court’s Free Legal Service Committee, by submitting the PIL directly to the court.
  • What are the objectives of PIL?

In India, the primary goals of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) are to uphold the rule of law, enable the economically and socially disadvantaged segments of society to more easily access justice, and. meaningful fulfilment of the basic rights.

  • What are the characteristics of PIL?

PIL focuses on issues that are more broadly relevant to society and are of public interest. It aims to address systemic problems, societal injustices, and violations of constitutional rights in addition to the petitioner’s individual interests.

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