Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was first presented by Justice P.N Bhagwati. It alludes to prosecution embraced to make sure about public interest and exhibits the accessibility of equity to socially-burdened gatherings.

It was anything but an unexpectedly developing idea. Public interest litigation can also be the utilization of the law to propel and induce the basic liberties and equity, or to raise issues of expansive public concern. It is usually used to challenge the choices of public specialists by legal audit. It assists in propelling the reason for minority or impeded gatherings or people. Public interest case isn’t characterized in any resolution or in any demonstration.

It has been deciphered by judges to think about the plan of open on the loose. These cases may emerge from both public and private law matters. Public law majorly concerns the deliberate principles and certain guidelines that majorly administer the activity of intensity by open bodies. Private law concerns those cases where a public body isn’t included and can be found in regions, for example, business law or family law.

The possibility of Public Interest Litigation has been generally acknowledged and has additionally been fruitful to the most extreme so as to fill its need. As the extent of PIL broadened, the abuse of PIL has taken a section on the edge. The basic technique so confined has begun to degenerate every so often. There is a number of cases that have been recorded as an abuse of PIL. In this manner, the Supreme Court, in a landmark case has set down different rules, which are to be trailed by the courts before engaging a PIL.

This paper clarifies the idea of Public Interest Litigation in India. It covers its inception and history, the significance of PIL, when and who can file a PIL, strategy to record a PIL, important features, and its benefits.


The expression “Public Interest” in the expression Public Interest Litigation implies the enthusiasm of general society everywhere, though the expression “litigation” in the expression implies a [1]lawful activity. In this way, the overall importance of the term PIL can be extricated from its legal sense alone. It is only a legal activity taken, covering the issue of people in general everywhere, for the government assistance of the general public. The meaning of “Public Interest” can be extracted from Black’s Law Dictionary.

It characterizes Public Interest as “Something in which general society, the network everywhere, has some monetary interest, or some enthusiasm by which their lawful rights or liabilities are influenced. It doesn’t mean anything so tight as simple interest, or as the interests of the specific areas, which might be influenced by the issues being referred to. Interest shared by residents by and large in undertakings of nearby, state or public government”. In this manner, PIL is the only prosecution documented under the steady gaze of the official courtroom to serve the government assistance to the general population on the loose.[2]


The idea of PIL was acquainted as an instrument all together to protect the privileges public at large. In this manner, at whatever point, an infringement of essential rights or some other lawful rights are being disregarded of people in general everywhere, the PIL can be documented under the watchful eye of the High Court or the Supreme Court.

As it were, when there is a public physical issue or damage brought about by any public or state authority or when it is an issue of fundamental basic liberties of the more fragile area of the general public, the PIL can be recorded.


Any Indian resident can record a PIL, the main condition being that it ought to be documented in the open intrigue as opposed to private intrigue. In the event that an issue is of extremely open significance, commonly the court additionally takes Suo Motu awareness in such a case and selects a legal advisor to deal with such a case.


Any Indian resident or association can move the court for an public interest/cause by recording an appeal:

1.In the SC under Article 32.

2.In the High Courts under Article 226.

Below are the steps to file a Public Interest Litigation –

  • Approach a public interest attorney or association to document the case.
  • Gather fundamental records, for example, title deeds, confirmation of home, personality evidence, notice, resettlement strategy assuming any, and photos of the removal.
  • Rundown names and addresses of all distressed gatherings moving toward the court.
  • Rundown names and addresses of government offices from which help is looked for.
  • List realities offering ascend to infringement of Fundamental Rights.
  • Rundown dates showing the length of remain at the site, when the removal occurred, when and if an ousting notice was given, and other significant subtleties identified with the expulsion.
  • Unmistakably notice the ‘supplications’ or the alleviation being looked for from the court.


By making another system of basic freedoms by growing the importance of key right to balance, life, and individual freedom. In this cycle, the privilege to expedient preliminary, free legitimate guide, respect, means and job, instruction, lodging, clinical consideration, clean condition, directly against torment, inappropriate behavior, isolation, subjugation, and bondage, abuse, etc develop as common liberties.

These new reconceptualized rights give lawful assets to initiate the courts for their implementation through PIL. By democratization of access of equity. This is finished by loosening up the customary principle of locus standi. Any open lively resident or social activity gathering can move toward the court in the interest of the persecuted classes. Courts consideration can be drawn even by composing a letter or sending a wire. This has been called epistolary purview.

By designing new sorts of reliefs under the court’s writ locale. For instance, the court can grant between time pay to the survivors of administrative rebellion. This stands in sharp differentiation to the Anglo-Saxon model of mediation where break help is restricted to protecting the norm forthcoming official choice.

The award of pay in PIL matters doesn’t block the bothered individual from bringing a common suit for harms. In PIL cases the court can form any help to the people in question. By concocting new procedures of truth-finding. In the majority of the cases, the court has selected its own socio-legitimate payments of request or has deputed its own authority for examination.

At times it has taken the assistance of the National Human Rights Commission or Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or specialists to ask into basic liberties infringement. This might be called analytical prosecution


Public Interest Litigation has, almost certainly, served to the most extreme for the government assistance of the general public. For so long, the PIL has contributed a ton in embellishment the law, as per the progressions and advancement in the general public.

Without this doctrine of Public Interest Litigation, it would have been a troublesome method to institute and alter laws according to the changing conditions of the general public. Hence, this idea has attached the cycle of correct laws as per the changing needs of the general public. However, this teaching has been of most extreme significance, its abuse is a lot of evidence as it has a basic and less expensive method, yet the Supreme Court has diminished the abuse of this regulation by encircling reasonable rules, which are to be carefully trailed by the courts before engaging an appeal of PIL. Hence, the tenet of PIL has been protected from being abused, and its adequacy is again held.[3]


[1] “Did You Know India’s First PIL Was Filed 40+ Years Ago? Here Are the 5 Most Iconic PILs Since Then” (The Better India, June 20, 2017) (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”><> accessed September 10, 2020

[2] Helplinelaw, “Public Interest Litigation” ( (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”><> accessed September 10, 2020

[3] “Public Interest Litigation in India (PIL) – Benefits, Documents, Procedure” (Corpbiz) (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”><> accessed September 10, 2020

“Public Interest Litigation (Pil) | Latest & Breaking News on Public Interest Litigation (Pil) | Photos, Videos, Breaking Stories and Articles on Public Interest Litigation (Pil)” (Moneycontrol) (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”><> accessed September 10, 2020

Author: Rohit Raj Chittigala | College: Symbiosis Law School, Pune
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