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Public Interest Litigation And Its Procedure [Explained]


What is Public Interest Litigation (PIL)

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a form of writ where an action or law is framed for public convenience. It directly joins the public with the judiciary. In PIL, the court has given the public the right to file a suit.

public interest litigation
public interest litigation

How to file a Public Interest Litigation

Filing: A Public Interest Litigation is filed in the same manner as a writ petition is filed either in the Supreme Court (Article 32) or in the High Court (Article 226) under the constitution. If the PIL is to be filed in the High Court, then two copies of the petition have to be filed. If the PIL is filed in the Supreme Court, then the petition has to be filed in five sets.

Also, it is vitally important to serving an advance copy of the petition on each respondent/opposite party and the proof of having served the copy of the petition to the respondent or respondents has to be affixed with the petition which can be in the form of postal or courier receipts.

Procedure: Procedure of filing Public Interest Litigation is, court fee amounting to Rs. 50 per respondent. If respondents are more than one, then each respondent will have to pay Rs. 50 as court fee which has to be affixed to the petition. The proceedings in a Public interest litigation hearing are carried out in the same way as in another case irrespective of its nature. During the PIL proceedings, if the judge feels a court commissioner has to be appointed to investigate the matter in question like inquiry on allegations of pollution being caused, trees being cut among other things. Post reply by the respondent/respondents or rejoinder by the petitioner, the judge/judges may give his/her decision.

Who can file Public Interest Litigation

Generally, it is seen that the aggrieved party that is the victim, the person who has affected files his case in a court of law. Victim person should have an interest in the dispute. But in the filing PIL, there is no such condition. Any person can file a Public Interest Litigation. The only condition is that the same has to be filed n Public Interest. PIL 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 to protect the interest of the public at large. These cases may occur when the victim does not have the 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 action or cases can commence on the petition of any public-spirited individual.

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Adv Faizan Athar

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Assalam O Alaikum, My name is Faizan I am a practicing lawyer in Pakistan and blogging is my hobby.
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