A Critical Analysis on the Role of Public Interest Litigation in Environmental Jurisprudence 

Sidharth A J
VIT School of Law, VIT University Chennai Campus, India.
Christeena Anna Reji
School of Law, Christ Deemed to be University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Volume III, Issue V, 2020

This research paper primarily focuses on various aspects of the role of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in environmental jurisprudence. It seeks to understand the effectiveness of public interest litigation in environmental jurisprudence. PIL has started to impact environmental jurisprudence in the post industrialisation period. The influence actually commenced when they were no efficient laws for environmental protection which gradually induced public spirited citizens to speak for them. Because the environment is considered as inanimate things that cannot speak for itself. The concept of locus standi hindered a third party from approaching the court. Later it was the influence of Justice Bhagwati and Krishna iyer that paved way to the emergence of PIL. The locus standi principle was relaxed in 1970’s to tackle issues like child labour, bonded labour, sexual harassment, environmental protection etc . the courts approach in entertaining environment protection PILs were not so consistent in the early periods, this is because the country gave importance for developmental projects majorly than considering the issues with environment. The article is an attempt to understand how effective Public Interest Litigation is in environmental jurisprudence also the detrimental impacts of PILs. The low court fees of PIL compared to private litigation has led to PIL being misused to certain extend, development and other project which could have benefited the people are purposefully delayed using PIL as a tool as a result now Supreme Court is being flooded with PILs. It is a much difficult job for the PIL cell to determine the genuine ones from the others. Such senseless PIL poses a great threat and they have to be scrutinised well.

Keywords; public interest litigation, locus standi, environmental jurisprudence