WRITS & PIL

PILs IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

PIL that is the “Public Interest Litigation” is directly filed by an individual or group of people in the Supreme Court of India and High Courts of India and judicial magistrate.

The concept of public interest litigation (PIL) is in consonance with the principles enshrined in Article 39A of the Constitution of India to protect and deliver prompt social justice with the help of law. Before the 1980s, only the aggrieved party could approach the courts for justice.

After the emergency era, the high court reached out to the people, devising a means for any person of the public (or an NGO) to approach the court seeking legal remedy in cases where the public interest is at stake. R. Krishna Iyer was among the first judges to admit PILs in court N. Bhagwati and Justice V. Justice P.

Filing a PIL is not as cumbersome as a usual legal case; there have been instances when letters and telegrams addressed to the court have been taken up as PILs and heard.

A PIL is a petition that an individual or a non-government organisation or citizen groups, can file in the court seeking justice in an issue that has a larger public interest. It aims at giving common people access to the judiciary to obtain legal redress for a greater cause.

PIL is not defined in any statute. It is the outcome of judicial activism to take cognisance of a cause at the instance of any person even if it does not affect him personally but affects the public at large.

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WRIT AND A PIL? HOW TO FILE A PIL IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

The name PIL has not been defined in the Constitution and is a more popular name for a Writ issued by the Supreme Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India which is considered to be highly prerogative.

The following steps describe in brief the process how to file a PIL in Supreme Court of India.

  1. Firstly check about the subject on which one is thinking to file the PIL and read all the details of the provisions of the law and the violations of the law if any being done by the State or any statutory body. PIL can only be filed against any existing legal right or violation of the legal right by the Government.
  2. Secondly to make a detailed representation regarding the violations being made by the department concerned or the concerned authorities to take the remedial steps in this regard. If possible a reminder to the same may also be given.
  3. Thirdly to check any arbitrary law, irregularity in the enforcement of law and the class of people being affected by such law or the inactivity of the department concerned.
  4. Fourthly to collect all the relevant material, press reporting, documents etc in this regard and arrange them chronologically.
  5. Fifthly to draft a Writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India citing the violations of the law, inactivity of the state and all other grounds. The format for PIL is given below which may be used. It is important to take the assistance or services of a trained legal hand for the purpose.
  6. Sixthly to prepare and file the PIL in Supreme Court of India before the Registry of the Supreme Court of India and get the matter listed before the court after due scrutiny. The matter is thereafter listed before the Court of hearing and orders accordingly.

 

PIL IN VARIOUS HIGH COURTS

 suggestive format of PIL in High Court

BEFORE THE HIGH COURT AT
(EXTRA-ORDINARY CIVIL WRIT JURISDICTION)
PIL No. OF
IN THE MATTER OF:
(Name of the petitioner) Petitioner

VERSUS
(Name of the respondent(s) Respondent

MEMO OF PARTIES

(Name of the petitioner) Petitioner

VERSUS
(Name of the respondent(s) Respondent

FILED BY
Dated:

Place:

BEFORE THE HIGH COURT AT
(EXTRA-ORDINARY CIVIL WRIT JURISDICTION)
PIL No. OF
IN THE MATTER OF:
(Name of the petitioner) Petitioner

VERSUS
(Name of the respondent(s) Respondent

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR THE ISSUANCE OF:

WRIT, ORDER OR DIRECTION IN NATURE OF MANDAMUS OR ANY OTHER APPROPRIATE WRIT, ORDER OR DIRECTION FOR (give the complete prayer as per law including the relief you are seeking for)

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH: –

  1. That the following questions of public importance are being raised in the present Public Interest Petition (PIL):
  2. That the present petition is being filed against (give details)
  3. That the Respondent(s) is/are an instrumentality of the State, hence State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India.
    4. That the Petitioner is constrained to approach this Honble Court against the illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional conduct of the respondents who are bent upon violating and ignoring the mandate of the Constitution of India.
  4. That the petitioner is filing the present writ petition in public interest. The petitioner has no personal interest in the litigation and the petition is not guided by self-gain or for gain of any other person/ institution/body and that there is no motive other than of public interest in filing the writ petition.
  5. That the petitioner has based the instant writ petition from authentic information and documents obtained from various governments departments/portals applications and has determined the veracity of the same.
    7. That the petition, if allowed, would benefit the citizens of this country generally as rule of law is essential for democracy and such brazen violation of law by the respondents can be stopped by the orders of this Honble Court only.
  6. That the persons affected by such acts of the State are numerous and are not in a position to approach the Honble Court hence the petitioner is filing the present PIL on behalf of such affected persons. Except for the present respondents no other parties are affected by the present PIL.
  7. That the petitioner undertakes to pay the costs if any imposed by the court on this petition.
  8. That the Petitioner is constrained to approach this Honble Court against the illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional conduct of the respondents.
  9. That the petitioner has no personal interest in the litigation and the petition is not guided by self-gain or for gain of any other person/ institution/body and that there is no motive other than of public interest in filing the writ petition. The present petition is not guided by any professional considerations and is being filed purely in public interest as the Petitioner.
  10. That the petitioner has based the instant writ petition from authentic information and documents obtained from various governments departments/portals/ RTI applications and has determined the veracity of the same.
  11. That the petition, if allowed, would benefit the citizens of this country generally as rule of law is essential for democracy and such brazen violation of law by the respondents can be stopped by the orders of this Honble Court only.
  12. That the persons affected by such inactivity of the State are numerous and being public at large is not in a position to approach the Honble Court hence the petitioner is filing the present PIL on behalf of such affected persons. Except for the present respondents no other parties are affected by the present PIL.
  13. That the Petitioner undertakes to pay the costs, if any imposed by the Honble Court on the present PIL at any stage.
  14. That the brief facts leading to the rise of the present case are enumerated hereunder:
  15. That aggrieved by the aforesaid act, the Petitioner is before the Court, inter alia, following amongst the other

GROUNDS

  1. That the Petitioner has got no other alternate efficacious remedy except for the present Public Interest Petition (PIL).
  2. That the petitioner has not filed any other PIL or any other such petition seeking the identical relief before any other High Court or before the Honble Supreme Court of India.
  3. That the annexures filed along with the present Public Interest Petition (PIL) are true copies of the originals.
    PRAYER:

It is most respectfully prayed that the court may issue:

(a) Writ, order or direction in nature of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction for (give the complete prayer as per law)

(b) Any other order as the Honble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case be also passed in favour of the Petitioner in the interest of justice.

(c) Cost of the present petition be also allowed in favour of the petitioner and against the respondent.

Petitioner

NOTE: The format of affidavit to be filed alongwith the PIL in Delhi High court is different.

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