Public interest litigation is one of the rare topics that interest lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Not only in term of elegance and novelty, this is a topic with a high profile due to its importance, relevance and necessity. The term 'public interest litigation' (PIL), a new phenomenon in our legal system, is used to describe cases where conscious citizens or organizations approach the court bona fide in public interest. This is a significant new development from at least two standpoints. First, the courts are for the first time concerned with public interest matters. This is beyond the traditional role of the judges who previously adjudicated private disputes only. Second, it involves a public law approach with respect to the rules of standing, procedure and remedies so that private citizens can advance public aims through the courts. In Bangladesh, concerned citizens and organizations have challenged illegal detention of an innocent person for 12 years without trial, importation of radio-active milk environmental damage resulting from defective food action programmed, importation of the radio-active milk Chief Metropolitan Magistrate without prior consultation with the Supreme Court and so on. Within its scope, which is continuously expanding, PIL includes cases involving poverty related problems, police atrocities, illegal detention, environmental and consumer matters, health related problems, rights of children and women, minority affairs and other human rights issues. Public Interest Litigation is not defined in any statute or act. It has been interpreted by judges to consider the intent of public at large. Although, the main and only focus of such litigation is only 'Public Interest' there are various areas where a Public Interest Litigation can be filed. Since the early 1980s, the Supreme Court of India and its state High Courts have wielded an enormous amount of power in the area of human rights. Public interest litigation (PIL) claims have been used to defend the rights of the poor, illiterate, disadvantaged, and impoverished people of India. This section explores the development of this transformative type of litigation and its impact on India's legal system. It begins by defining public interest litigation, generally and specifically in the Indian context. This section also examines some of the concerns that commentators have about the rise of PIL.A. Defining Public Interest Litigation Defining PIL in the Indian context is not an easy task. Generally, public interest litigation is described as "something in which the public, the community at large, has some pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected. Public Interest Litigation, in Indian law means litigation for the protection of public interest. It is litigation introduced in a court of law not by the aggrieved party but by the court itself or by any other private party. It is not necessary, for the exercise of the court's jurisdiction, that the person who is the victim of the violation of his or her right should personally approach the court. Public Interest Litigation is the power given to the public by courts through judicial activism. Such cases may occur when the victim does not have the necessary resources to commence litigation or his freedom to move court has been suppressed or encroached upon. The court can itself take cognizance of the matter and precede suo motu or cases can commence on the petition of any public-spirited individual. PIL thus travels from one jurisdiction to another. We have welcomed MI, in Bangladesh very recently; however, one is unsure about its eventual success. In fact, the success of Pit in other jurisdictions cannot be any guarantee of its success in Bangladesh. Superficial similarities between jurisdictions may conceal profound cultural and political differences that may prove detrimental to the exportation of an idea from one jurisdiction to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document