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PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION by Anilkumar
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a judicial proceeding taken up by the courts in order to protect public interest or address public grievance when fundamental rights or constitutional law enforcement are at stake. Any citizen regardless of his relationship with the victim, can file a PIL in the Supreme Court under Art 32, or in the .High Court under Art 226 of Indian Constitution
In fact PIL is in consonance with the objects enshrined in Art.39A. Some times the Court itself can act “Suo Moto” taking up an issue as a PIL in the interest of the public. Justice P.N. Bhagwati and Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer are the pioneers to entertain PIL in India.
PIL in India has become part of Constitutional litigation and not Civil Litigation. The Constitution assures to all its citizens justice, Liberty and Equality. The main tool to empower such provisions were Fundamental Rights which is described as “Conscience of Constitution”. These provisions made under the constitution led to the emergence of PIL. Since the introduction of PIL, courts have opened the flood gates of litigation to address the grievances. Courts justified the extension of Constitutional law through PIL to provide justice to the suppressed and disadvantaged sections of society.
Since the introduction of PIL, some of the cases filed have created a doubt the very purpose of PIL has been misused. Some PIL’s are more or less in the view of private grievance or w.r.t individuals property which leads to ulterior purposes. Even looking at the rate of PILs being admitted by the courts, it is clear that the judiciary is over burdened.
Also the question of judicial populism should also be addressed as the courts are not peoples representatives and cannot be held responsible as well. There is also a complaint that frivolous PIL’s have been filed where Court’s precious time and money are wasted for nothing.
In order to make PIL one of the powerful tools under constitutional law, necessary methods to be adopted like Over activity of judiciary should be hindered transgressing it limits. Initial analysis needs to be done in order to find out the PIL jurisdiction and avoid unnecessary litigations. Friviolous, business conflicts and Private grievance PIL’s should be avoided and the litigant should be penalised for wasting precious time and money. Misconception of Judicial activism and PIL should be avoided as Judicial activism is not PIL.