Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a practice or a technique that focuses on the citizens of the country. The main purpose of this school of jurisprudence – PIL is to protect the people of the nation. Moreover, before heading into the intricacies of PIL, let’s understand what it actually is and how it benefits us.
Meaning and Definition of Public Interest Litigation
In addition to what the above paragraph states, the public interest litigation gets initiation by a group of people. These people belong to the country where the filing of the litigation happens. Also, it is important to understand that PIL is a practice that allows the following to file for litigation:
- an individual; or
- a group of people
Further, this individual person or a group of people can directly file interest litigation with the Supreme Court. Apart from the Supreme Court of India, the High Courts, as well as the Judicial Members, are capable of accepting litigation files.
Moreover, it is also important to note that the person or people who are filing the petition should not possess any interest in the litigation. In other words, the petitioners should not file a litigation petition keeping in mind a personal agenda. The Court accepts the litigation only when the plea comes from a large public interest.
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Importance of the Public Interest Litigation
Some of the critical importance and scope of the PIL are as follows:
- Public interest litigation provides a wider scope promoting the right to equality.
- Not only does it promote equality, but it also ensures right to life and personality. Part III of the Constitution of India guarantees right to quality, life, and personality.
- PIL is solely responsible for providing relief and remedies of the writ jurisdiction.
- The public interest litigation practice functions as an effective instrument for changing society and ensuring welfare.
- Also, with the help of the public interest litigation, anyone can seek remedy on behalf of the under-privileged class by introducing the public interest litigation.
Apart from the obvious importance of the PIL, here is why it is valued as highly as it is.
The PIL can do the following:
- Clarify the Indian societal law.
- Holding the public accountable by/and ensuring that they make appropriate decisions, act fair and transparent within their legal powers.
- Aid in developing the law by providing the judges with the opportunity to accurately interpret the legislation.
- Provide a voice to the voiceless and vulnerable by highlighting an important issue.
- Providing a platform to the vulnerable people to protect and practice their rights.
- Raise awareness of societal issues, encourage public debates and increase accurate media coverage.
Solved Questions on Public Interest Litigation
Q. Who can file for a Public Interest Litigation?
Any individual or a group of people can file for a PIL if they prove to the Courts that they are not filing the petition for their personal agenda. Therefore, anybody who is a part of a society and is facing an issue can file a PIL against the Government and not another individual or entity.
Q. Where can one file for the Public Interest Litigation?
You can file the PIL in the Apex Court under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution or with the High Court under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.