Public Interest Litigation

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Public Interest Litigation

Public Interest Litigation

Public Interest Litigation means a legal action initiated in a court of law for the enforcement of public interest or general interest in which the public or class of the community have pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.”


In the case of People’s Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India, it was held that “Public Interest Litigation which is a strategic arm of the legal aid movement and which is intended to bring justice within the reach of the poor masses, who constitute the low visibility area of humanity, is a totally different kind of litigation from the ordinary traditional litigation which is essentially of an adversary character where there is a dispute between two parties, one making a claim or seeing relief against the other and that other opposing such claim or relief. Public interest litigation is brought before the court not for the purpose of enforcing the right of one individual against another as happens in the case of ordinary litigation, but it is intended to promote and vindicate public interest which demands that violations of constitutional or legal rights of large numbers of people who are poor, ignorant or in a socially or economically disadvantaged position should not go unnoticed and un-redressed.

That would be destructive of the Rule of Law which forms one of the essential elements of public interest in any democratic form of government. The Rule of Law does not mean that the protection of the law must be available only to a fortunate few or that the law should be allowed to be prostituted by the vested interests for protecting and upholding the status quo under the guise of enforcement of their civil and political rights. The poor too have civil and political rights and the Rule of Law is meant for them also, though today it exists only on paper and not in reality.”

Nature of Dispute and jurisdiction

A Public Interest Litigation can be filed before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution or before the High Court of a State under Article 226 of the Constitution under their respective Writ Jurisdictions. There are mainly five types of Writs:-

  1. Writ of Habeaus Corpus.
  2. Writ of Mandamus.
  3. Writ of Quo-Warranto.
  4. Writ of Prohibition, and
  5. Writ of Certiorari.

The following are five landmark PIL cases in India:

  1. “Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan”
  2. “Javed v. State of Haryana”
  3. “HussainaraKhatoon v. State of Bihar”
  4. “M.C. Mehta v. Union of India”
  5. “ParmanandKatara v. Union of India”

The Supreme Court has issued a set of PIL guidelines according to which the following matters will not be allowed as PILs:

  • Landlord-tenant matters
  • Service matters
  • Matters pertaining to pension and gratuity
  • Complaints against Central and State government departments and Local Bodies except those relating to items 1 to 10 mentioned in the list of guidelines
  • Admission to medical and other educational institutions
  • Petitions for early hearing of cases pending in High Court or subordinate courts

Our services

  • We are research based firm and providing relevant information of subject matter before to file PIL.
  • Procure all relevant information and documents to back your case.
  • You can argue in person or appoint an advocate to fight the case.
  • Drafting case file, removing rejection before filling in court.