A Matter of Public Concern PIL (public interest litigation) is a type of lawsuit brought to protect or enforce the public interest. The term “public interest” refers to how a member of a certain social group’s interests impact their legal rights and obligations. It might have a monetary component. The term “public interest litigation” comes from American law, where it was created to offer legal representation to formerly unrepresented groups such as the poor, racial minorities, unorganised consumers, individuals concerned about environmental concerns, and so on.
Both public and private legal issues can lead to public interest litigation. The numerous rules and regulations that regulate the exercise of authority by public entities are referred to as public law. Private law refers to instances in which no public entity is involved, such as employment or family law.
Due to its various advantages, such as speedy results, comparatively low court fees, comfortable procedural rules, and the broad range of inquiry methods available to courts, such as special committees, PILs are considered to be the most effective as well as the most commonly used judicial tool to keep us safe. By judicial review, public interest litigation is most often utilised to challenge the decisions of public authorities. Judicial review is a type of judicial process in which a judge considers the legality of a public body’s decision or action, or failure to act. Judicial review examines whether the law was appropriately applied and that the proper processes were followed.
Any person or organization can submit a PIL in their own right, i.e. to defend or enforce a right due to them by the government, or on behalf of a group of people who are disadvantaged or oppressed and are unable to enforce their own rights. In the case of PILs, the notion of “Locus Standi” has been modified in order for the Hon’ble Court to consider grievances submitted on behalf of people who are poor, uneducated, destitute, or crippled and are unable to access the courts themselves. Only a person operating in good faith and with a substantial stake in the outcome will have locus standi to file a PIL. A person who comes to the Hon’ble Court for personal benefit, financial gain, political reasons, or any other oblique motive will not be heard.
PILs are Writ Jurisdiction’s expansions. As a result, PILs can be lodged before the Supreme Court of India under Article 32 of the Constitution Of india or any High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution Of india.
A PIL is an essential judicial instrument, especially for people who are unable to approach the courts directly, to safeguard their rights. They’re one of the most prevalent types of lawsuits, particularly in environmental situations. The courts have attempted to simplify the procedures governing PILs in order to discourage the filing of PILs in the public interest and on behalf of the poor, disabled, or impoverished. However, there have been many cases when persons have used PILs to advance their own personal objectives. As a result, courts must continue to exercise utmost caution in order to prevent the abuse of PILs.