Procedure To File A Public Interest Litigation (PIL)


Are you someone who is disappointed with the decisions of government and the policies it is implementing? Do you think the decisions by the government are causing the violation of fundamental human rights, corruption, social injustice, etc.?  Are you interested in changing these things and fix the system through law? If yes, then public interest litigation (PIL) is for you. In recent years, many PIL cases are being filed. Regardless of winning or losing they are making an impact on the lives of the people.

What is meant by PIL?

Public interest litigation is a legal action seeking for the benefit of the disadvantaged groups of minority or individuals or raising public issues. It is a method of using law deliberately to effect social change. PIL is a petition which is filed by an individual or citizen groups or a non-government organization in the court pursuing justice on a problem which has a broader public interest. The main aim of PIL is to give ordinary people access to the law to acquire legal redress for a more substantial cause. It is not defined in any statute. It is the consequence of judicial activism to take a cause which affects the public at large but not affecting single person personally.

Who can file PIL?

Any Indian citizen can file PIL. The only condition while filing a PIL is that, it should be filed with a significant public interest and not for private gain. If the court thinks that the PIL filed has public significance, then it will take the responsibility and appoint a lawyer to handle the case.

How does one decide to file a PIL?

It is suggested in many cases that before filing PIL individuals or groups should give an opportunity to other parties to react to the issue and then take the decision.

For instance, if you have an issue with any of the government policies or something else first try to solve it with the concerned authorities. Explain to them the whole thing and give them some reasonable time to respond on the issue. If they don’t respond and don’t take any action, then you can file a PIL.

Where are PILs filed?

PILs can be filed in the High Court or the Supreme Court.

Procedure for filing a PIL?

  1. Before filing a PIL one has to do the complete research about the issue. When a PIL is filed concerning many people, it is essential for the petitioner to consult all the individuals and groups which are affected.
  2. Once you are sure of filing a PIL, collect all the vital information and documents as evidence to support your case. You can argue the case on your own or appoint a lawyer to argue on behalf of you.
  3. It is always advisable to consult a lawyer before filing the PIL. If you are interested in arguing the case on your own then be prepared to explain the problem and convince the court in the time you have been allotted.
  4. Once the PIL copy is ready to be filed in the High Court, then submit two copies of the petition to the court. Along with this, one copy of the petition needs to be served to the respondents in advance. This proof of serving the petition copy to the respondents has to be affixed in the petition.

If the PIL is filed in the Supreme Court, then five copies of petition need to be submitted to the court. Respondent is served with the petition copy when the court issues the notice regarding the same.

So, are you also thinking of filing a PIL for bringing sunshine into many lives? Then consult an excellent legal advisor and take advice from them. Start fighting for justice.