Genesis and Growth of Public Interest Litigation in the Indian Legal System

Pratyush Jha
Amity Law School, Noida, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, India

Volume III, Issue III, 2020

Public Interest Litigation is a kind of litigation aimed to protect the interests of the public. As India is a home to the people of different sections of the society and among them there are some unprivileged people for whom the concept of PIL becomes a tool of social justice so that they are not deprived from their basic human rights. It also fulfills the aim of our Indian Constitution to meet the expectation of people from all the sections of our society. We have welcomed several landmark judgments as a result of PIL in varied fields of interest like environment, health, education, etc. which brought a great impact on the laws of India. There are many important steps taken by the state as a result of several PILs filed. With it, the concept of PIL has also broadened the scope of locus standi i.e. standing in the court. The concept of PIL is a new concept of litigation which has evolved from the interpretation of the judges. In past, time to time different important judgments have created a base for the introduction of this concept. Even some of our constitutional principles (like socialism, social justice, access to free legal aid and different others) can also be said as a base for the introduction of this concept.

This paper aims to give an insight into the concept of PIL. In the first part there is an analysis on how this concept took birth in the Indian Legal System. There are also some international instances discussed about the genesis of this concept. Further, there are landmark judgments discussed which came out as a result of several PILs filed. Also there is a comparative discussion on the concept of PIL and the locus standi, followed by the discussion on the process of filling a PIL in the Indian courts of law. Furthermore, there is a review of different challenges which were/are faced in enforcing the Public Interest Litigation in India and the initiatives taken by courts to deal with the same. With all these, the paper is concluded with the ideas of making best as well as positive use of this concept in order to fulfill the aim and the spirit with which this concept was introduced. Moreover, this paper takes the reference of different aspects related to Public Interest Litigation in Indian context.


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