What is Public Interest Litigation?

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Public interest Litigation gives people the authority to file litigation in public interest, in any court of law. Some of the examples of public interest issues could be terrorism, constructional hazards, pollution, and road safety. The issues which affect public at large can be resolved by filing PIL (Public Interest Litigation).

Public Interest Litigation has not been defined in any edict or act. The judges interpret it looking at the intent of public.

Law Universities in Rajasthan incorporates these types of matters in the curriculum. So, gear yourself up to study all these if you have enrolled in any such program.

Can I File Public Interest Litigation?
In normal cases, the victim/ aggrieved has to file his case in a court of law; he/ she have an interest in the dispute. However, filing Public Interest Litigation is different. Anybody can file a PIL, but only in public interest; it should not have any personal interest.

PIL can be introduced by the court itself also. There are times when the victim personally cannot file complaint due to lack of resources or freedom to visit a court, which is not essential for the court’s jurisdiction either. PIL authorizes common people to shield the interest of public. The court can also recognize and take an initiative regarding the case.

Inception of Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
The term “PIL” was used for the first time in the United States, in 1980s. There were several movements in the US during nineteenth century, which added to public interest law that came under the umbrella of legal aid movement.

The first legal aid office came into existence in 1876, in New York. The PIL movement received financial assistance from the from Economic Opportunity office, in 1960s; which fostered lawyers and other people to serve the under privileged, and to counter the exploitation suffered by the weaker sections, and to save the environment and public interest.  

History of PIL in India
It was in 1970s that the PIL showed initial signs and took 10 years to expand to the fullest. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer and PM. Bhagwati, honourable Judges of the Supreme Court of India by delivering milestone judgments raised the possibilities of PIL.

Objectives of PIL
As per Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Public Interest Litigation is a legal process which allows one to voice out grievances in public interest. The objective is to help them obtain justice who cannot access courts on their own due to some or the other limitation.

If you are planning to step into any of the Law Courses in Rajasthan, then you must know these facts as they will be useful to crack entrance exams.