Public Interest Litigation


Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice PN Bhagwati developed the concept of PIL. This concept has been taken from USA.

Upendra Bakshi has recognized it as Social Interest Litigation.

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Rule of Locus Standi says,
a person whose right is violated will approach to the court.

But in PIL,
if victim is unable to approach the court due to illiteracy or is economically backward or due to any other reason, then any person on behalf of such victim may approach to the court for the protection of his fundamental rights.


Related Cases-
People Union for Democratic Rights v Union of India
At the time of Asian Games the workers were working in inhuman conditions and were getting less remuneration according to Minimum Wages Act. The word “bonded labour” was introduced.

Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India
In Faridcot, Haryana, there was a mine in which there were bonded labourers working in inhuman conditions and were not getting wages as prescribed in Minimum Wages Act.
Supreme court held that if a labourer doesn’t get minimum wage then it be considered as “forced labour”.

MC Mehta v Union of India
Some guidelines were issued-
1. For PIL a person can even post a letter in the name of a judge of Supreme Court without attaching affidavit.

2. The Supreme Court has power to grant compensation to the victim in furtherance of PIL.

3. The Supreme Court has power to appoint commission for investigating the matters related to violation of fundamental rights.



When PIL is treated through postcard, letter, newspaper etc by the Supreme Court then it is epistolary jurisdiction.
Epistolary means “in the form of letters.”

Home - Law Notes - PIL (Public Interest Litigation) Meaning in India

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