158. Introucing a new Series: Blogs by Students! Unit 1 Mr. Anilkumar

This is a new initiative sponsored by the Institute. They are encouraged to write in their own words and when references are made to acknowledge the source. And no copy and paste please! Make the best use of this opportunity and prove to  yourselves that you CAN DO!


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.





5 thoughts on “158. Introucing a new Series: Blogs by Students! Unit 1 Mr. Anilkumar

  1. Hi ,

    Nice article Anil

    Can you please elaborate this statement – ‘ PIL in India has become part of constitutional Litigation and not Civil Litigation’.

    Secondly, what is the difference between PIL and Judicial activitsm?

    Thanks & Regards

    1. -> ” PIL in India has become part of Constitutional Litigation and not Civil Litigation”

      If we trace the background of PIL, it has emerged when there was frequent transgression of fundamental rights mentioned in Constitution of India.
      When Indian constitution was adopted, it promised our country to be “Soveriegn, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic”.
      Our Founding fathers wanted to induce Social Revolution through the constitution with the help of tools like FR’s and DP’s.
      So with this in background, if any litigant wants to file a PIL, the root reference are made to the Constitution of India under respective articles (32 and 226). Also, the very purpose of PIL is when the FR’s listed under articles of Consitution of India are violated. So all PIL cases taken up by the courts have emanated from Constitution making PIL as Consitutional Litigation.

      -> Difference between PIL and Judicial Activism

      Judicial Activism refers to judicial activity of the court beyond its jurisdiction or powers of Judicial review. Judicial activism highlights the intervention of courts in the legislative and executive subjects, when it fails to function effectively.
      PIL is one of the form of Judicial Activism to address the public grievances within its limits.
      But in Judicial activism, courts functions to direct the government w.r.t policies, administrative failures, power misuses and the court may attempt on its own to expand the jurisdiction for more power and functions.
      So, we can infer that with the help of PIL, Judicial activism has gained prominence.

      -> Judicial Populism : It is an act of the courts where the judicial decisions/proceedings are marked by the influence of public opinion rather than that of judicial law.
      Ex: Binayak sen’s Life imprisonment by Raipur sessions court in chattisgarh. This verdict was heavily condemned by Supreme court which can be an example for Judicial populism.

      Hope I have answered the queries, please advise me if i’m on the wrong path.

  2. The judicial system in India, as compared to the ones abroad is not as open and un-orthodox as it is here. I do agree that since the introduction of PIL services for the people, it has been misused to a certain extent. As far as the waste of the judiciary’s time, money and energy is concerned, it can’t be seen that way unless and until the matter seems to be extremely trivial.
    The constitution of India does have it’s own provisions under various articles as per law and order concerning the governance of the country. Liberty and Equality are garuntees of an effective life and progress with concern to the judicial system. The fault could be anything, ranging from false FIR’S being filed, lack of statements or true significance of the PIL’s used by the people or even the judiciary failing to see the sense behind every registration.
    A PIL might be truly in the interest of the people, and might have wasted time of the ever green justice providing judiciary, but as much as corrupt and lie filled the judicial system is, so are the people. It thereby makes ‘best interests’ of the people seem like a toy to gain its stand in the rack.
    Fundamental Rights being described as the Conscience of Constitution is a vague acceptance of how it was framed to provide people during the independence struggle of their needs, but even the conscience provides only 6 rights, when we all are living in a democratic country, deep rooted in communism even today… and claims of being post modern, liberal, free and non-controlling.

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