Public Interest Litigation

Topics: Court, Judge, Jury Pages: 4 (1560 words) Published: November 10, 2013
Public-Interest Litigation (PIL, or जनहित याचिका) is litigation for the protection of the public interest. In Indian law, Article 32 of the Indian constitution contains a tool which directly joints the public with judiciary. A PIL may be introduced in a court of law by the court itself (suo motu), rather than the aggrieved party or another third party. For the exercise of the court's jurisdiction, it is not necessary for the victim of the violation of his or her rights to personally approach the court. In a PIL, the right to file suit is given to a member of the public by the courts through judicial activism. The member of the public may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), an institution or an individual. The Supreme Court of India, rejecting the criticism of judicial activism, has stated that the judiciary has stepped in to give direction because due to executive inaction, the laws enacted by Parliament and the state legislatures for the poor since independence have not been properly implemented. In December 1979, Kapila Hingorani of supreme court of India had filed a petition regarding the condition of the prisoners detained in the Bihar jail, whose suits were pending in the court. The special thing about this petiton was that it was not filed by any single prisoner, rather it was filed by various prisoners of the Bihar jail. The case got filed in the Supreme Court before the bench headed by Justice P. N. Bhagwati. This petition was filed by the name of the prisoner, Husnara Khatoon, hence the petition came to be known as Husnara Khatoon Vs State of Bihar. In this case, the Supreme Court upheld that the prisoners should get benefit of free legal aid and fast hearing. Because of this case 40,000 prisoners, whose suits were pending in the court, were released from the jail. There after many cases like this have registered in the supreme court. The concept of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is in consonance with the principles enshrined in Article 39A of...
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