PUDR [People's Union for Democrataic Rights] vs. Union of India
• it recognised that a third party could directly petition, whether through a letter or other means, the Court and seek its intervention in a matter where another party's fundamental rights were being violated.
• it was held that “Public Interest Litigation which is a strategic arm of the legal aid movement and which is intended to bring justice within the reach of the poor masses, who constitute the low visibility area of humanity, is a totally different kind of litigation from the ordinary traditional litigation which is essentially of an adversary character where there is a dispute between two parties, one making a claim or seeing relief against the other and that other opposing such claim or relief. Public interest litigation is brought before the court not for the purpose of enforcing the right of one individual against another as happens in the case of ordinary litigation, but it is intended to promote and vindicate public interest which demands that violations of constitutional or legal rights of large numbers of people who are poor, ignorant or in a socially or economically disadvantaged position should not go unnoticed and un-redressed….
Non-adversarial Litigation: In the words of Supreme Court in People’s Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India, “We wish to point out with all the emphasis at our command that public interest litigation…is a totally different kind of litigation from the ordinary traditional litigation which is essentially of an adversary character where there is a dispute between two litigating parties, one making claim or seeking relief against the other and that other opposing such claim or resisting such relief”. Non-adversarial litigation has two aspects:
• The court now permits Public Interest Litigation or Social Interest Litigation at the instance of " Public spirited citizens" for the enforcement of constitutional & legal rights of any person or group of persons who because of their socially or economically disadvantaged position are unable to approach court for relief. Public interest litigation is a part of the process of participate justice and standing in civil litigation of that pattern must have liberal reception at the judicial door steps.
• the Division Bench of the Supreme Court further expounded the wings of the concept of public interest litigation. The Court viewed that the public interest litigation is a strategic arm of the legal aid movement and which is intended to bring justice within the reach of the poor masses. The public interest litigation may make social and economic rights a meaningful reality for the poor. In effect it makes the judicial system an effective instrument of social and economic justice. The Court viewed that the time has now come, when the courts must become the Courts for the poor and struggling masses of the country.
• It was well settled that the public interest litigation could be initiated by means of letters and telegrams addressed to the Court
S. P. Gupta v. Union of India
• Facts: Constitution - public interest litigation - Articles 32 and 222 of Constitution of India - controversy in case revolves round letter written by Law Minister of India to Chief Justices of various High Courts of country - letter contained instructions in form of request to convince Judges working in High Courts to be appointed in High Court of another State - advocates all around country filed several writ petition against letter - writ petition of advocates also challenged some of transfers of Judges and Chief Justices along with letter - all writ petitions transferred to Supreme Court for collective decision as cause of action in petition was same - whether advocates can maintain petition as having valid grievance where letter neither written to them nor contained any matter related to them - whether power of president with respect to...
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