Public Interest Litigation or PIL is litigation for any public interest. If you are confused by the word litigation, it means legal action. Public Interest Litigation is basically a legal action taken to protect public interest, by a public spirited person.
PIL seeks to advance the cause of disadvantaged groups or individuals. This is a way of using the law to effect a social change.
It can be introduced in the court of law, not just by the aggrieved party or a private party, but by the court itself. It is not necessary for the aggrieved party (victim of violation), to personally approach the court, for the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction.
Any public spirited citizen can approach the court for a public cause. He just has to file a petition in:
You or any Indian citizen can file a PIL. The purpose should be for a larger public concern and not for private interest. The Court would take cognizance of the matter if it’s of utmost public importance.
It would be wise to give time for the opposite party to come up with a reasonable response, before filing a PIL. Let’s say you seek government action on a certain issue. Bring this to the knowledge of the government officials and give them a few months to respond. If they fail to respond, then go for a PIL.
The PIL is really cheap compared to other court cases. You have to pay a court fee of just Rs 50.
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