In What Conditions the Public Interest Litigation can be Filed Through?

Public Interest Litigation is an important part of India's legal system. Read the article to know in what conditions can a PIL be filed.

The term ‘Public Interest Litigation’ was first used by Justice P.N. Bhagwati in his judgment in the case of S.P. Gupta v. Union of India. It has been defined as “any litigation which is designed to bring about a change in the law or the enforcement of a legal right or to prevent the misuse of a legal wrong”. 

A PIL is a legal proceeding filed by an individual or group of individuals to seek redress for grievances, the violation of their rights and interests. The petitioners usually do this in the form of a lawsuit, but can also file it as a public interest litigation (PIL).

Read on to learn under what conditions the public interest litigation can be filed in India!

Public Interest Litigation in India 

In India, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a legal tool available to anyone who wants to file a case concerning a matter of public interest. It is a means by which issues of general public importance can be brought before the courts for adjudication. 

PIL was first introduced in the country in the late 1970s by the Supreme Court of India. Since then, it has been used to file cases on a range of issues, such as environmental damage, forced evictions, caste discrimination, and corruption. 

PIL has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in India. It has been used to tackle some of the country’s most pressing problems and has helped to improve the lives of millions of people.

Who Can File A Pil And In What Situations?

In India, public interest litigation is filed in the form of a writ petition under Article 32 or/and Article 226 of the Constitution of India. It is a mechanism available to the people of India to ensure that their fundamental rights are not breached and that the government is held accountable for its actions.

An individual citizen of India or an organization is allowed to file a PIL to protect the rights of a group of people or a section of society. PIL can also be filed to enforce the execution of government policies and public duties by authorities. 

The following are the conditions under which a PIL can be filed:

  • In case of human rights violation. 
  • If fundamental rights of a group of people are being violated. 
  • If government authorities or municipal authorities fail to perform their public duties. 
  • If a government policy is not being executed, citizens have the right to file a PIL to ensure its execution. 
  • In case of exploitation of poor and weaker sections of society.

If you want to know the details about each condition, you can contact vakilsearch. They will answer all your questions online or via call. They have a well qualified team of lawyers who can help you with the filing of PIL. 

Where can you file a PIL?

A public interest litigation (PIL) is allowed in any court of law. The petition must be presented before the High Court or the Supreme Court. A PIL can also be filed in a lower court, but it will not have any effect on its decision. However, if you file a PIL in a higher court and lose your case, you may appeal to the Supreme Court within 30 days of that order. If you win your case at first instance, then you cannot appeal to the Supreme Court unless there is an error on record by mistake or omission.

The PIL is filed at the court where you reside. If you are a resident of India, then your PIL must be filed in the Supreme Court of India (SCI). However, if you are a non-resident Indian (NRI), then your PIL can be filed in any High Court or the Supreme Court of India

A person who wishes to file a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution may do so by writing an application to that effect addressed to “The Chief Justice of India” and signed by him/herself or his/her lawyer. 

Documents Required for filing a public Interest Litigation 

Filing a Public Interest Litigation is a work of responsibility and a proper procedure is supposed to be followed that abides by the rules mentioned by the Constitution. Certain important documents are required to be submitted while filing a PIL. Here’s a checklist of the documents that you need to gather.

  • Information about the people who are aggrieved is to be submitted in the court. 
  • Information about the officials from whom the relief is required. 
  • The incidents that violated the rights of people should be mentioned in detail. 
  • Documents like title deeds, identity proof, address proof and other documents relevant to the incident need to be submitted.  
  • The applicant must also mention what relief they hope to get from the court. 

The PIL proceedings carry on like normal case hearings in the court. In some situations , the judge can appoint a Commissioner to investigate the case. 

Benefits of Filing a Public Interest Litigation 

Public Interest Litigation is beneficial for society. Some of its advantages are mentioned below. 

  • It allows the weaker group of people to fight for their rights. 
  • It ensures that government authorities do their tasks. 
  • It creates social awareness among People and they raise their voices against violation of fundamental rights. 
  • It protects vulnerable people and their problems are solved.


Public interest litigation (PIL) refers to any type of legal action that seeks to protect the welfare and interests of the general public. It is used when there are issues that affect many people and should be addressed by all concerned citizens. A PIL may be filed against government officials who have failed to perform their public duties. 

Expert legal professionals from Vakilsearch can help you through the entire process of filing a PIL. So make sure to get in touch with us today!

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