PIL Under Article 32 in India

Read further to know about PIL under Article 32, which allows you to file PIL in the Supreme Court.

A PIL is a public interest litigation and it is an important tool in the hands of litigants to seek justice. The basic requirement for filing a PIL is that the person who files the case must be aggrieved by some act or omission of any authority, whether it be government department or otherwise. The petitioner has to prove his/her grievance before a court of law. A PIL can be filed against any authority including state government, central government, local bodies such as municipal corporation, panchayat etc., but not against individuals.


PIL is an action taken by a citizen or group of citizens, with the support of a lawyer, to seek redress for grievances against the government. It is usually initiated in the court of law and not in the court of public opinion. Most PILs are filed in High Courts and Supreme Court at Delhi. The courts have powers to grant reliefs as per their discretion without any restrictions on amounts involved. It is usually used in cases where there are no other effective means available to enforce one’s rights. The process begins with filing an application in a court, seeking to have some law declared unconstitutional or otherwise violating rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The applicant will then present their case to the court and argue that they are entitled to relief because they are acting on behalf of all citizens, not just themselves. Public Interest Litigation or PIL was introduced in India in the 1980s. The concept of PIL was introduced by Justice Krishna Iyer. In 1976, a group of workers were given permission to file a written petition under Article 32 of the Constitution.

Types of PIL

Two types of PILs are there:

Citizen Social Action 

Citizen Social Action Public Interest Litigation (CSAPIL) is a mechanism available to individual citizens of India who are interested in filing PILs. This PIL is an alternative to the conventional legal route for bringing about social change, and has been designed as a platform for citizen participation in public interest litigation. It provides an opportunity to people from all walks of life, irrespective of their financial or other resources, to participate in the process of justice delivery through the courts by filing PILs.

Representative Social Action 

The concept of Representative Social Action Public Interest Litigation was introduced in 1976. It seeks to protect the interests of the public by using legal process and judicial authority. The Representative Social Action Public Interest litigant is not an individual representing himself but it represents the public interest as a whole. It also protects the rights and interests of minorities who are often discriminated against in other forms of litigation. Thus, this type of litigation represents a significant shift from the traditional civil justice system where one party represented only himself or herself.

What Are the Features of PIL Under Article 32 in India?

PIL is filed in the High Court or Supreme Court by an individual, group of individuals or any other organisation for redressal of grievance. The PILs are heard by the Supreme Court and High Courts. Under Article 32 of the Constitution,  a PIL is filed in the Supreme Court by an individual or a group of people if one or more of their fundamental rights are violated. and their desire to bring about legal redress for them. The PILs are decided by the Supreme Court after hearing arguments from both sides and then passing orders.

Maintainability of PIL Under Article 32

A PIL is maintainable incase of violation of one or more fundamental rights. Under no other situation will a PIL be maintained. The Constitution guarantees six fundamental rights in total, out of which the sixth and last one is the ,” Right of Constitutional Remedies”. If any of the 5 fundamental rights are violated, the sixth one ensures that you have the right to take legal actions.

How to File a PIL Under Article 32 in India

For filing a PIL, the person should be a citizen of India and it should be a case of public welfare. If the fundamental rights of a group of people is being affected , a PIL can be filed in the Supreme Court under Article 32. The format of PIL is simple and must contain the name of the person filing a PIL and the respondent.

Some important points to keep in mind when filing a PIL are: 

  • Consult a lawyer or an association and seek help to file a PIL.
  • Check if you have all the important documents like verification of ID and residence, notice, photographic evidence etc.
  • Information of all the victims or aggrieved people.
  • List of the respondents with name and addresses.
  • The detailed information about the events that occurred and how fundamental rights were violated.
  • The help that you’re seeking must be mentioned.

Importance of PIL in India

PIL is an important part of Indian Judiciary and has great importance.  Some important factors about PIL are:

  • PIL is easy to file and is inexpensive. It offers easy remedies for those seeking legal actions but cannot afford a court case.
  • If the petitioner is from a weak background and cannot afford to find evidence to support their PIL, the court helps them by appointing  a commission. This commission looks into the facts about the case.
  • PILs are a great way to protect the rights of weaker sections of society and minorities.
  • Public Interest Litigation helps to maintain a healthy environment and allows the court to provide easy remedies.
  • PIL is an amazing example of how to use Judiciary for online Interest and for the benefit of a large group of people.
  • Providing justice to the poor and weak is the main objective of PIL.


Public Interest Litigation is a legal process where the public interest is taken into account. It involves filing a lawsuit against the government or any other person in order to prevent them from doing something that will cause harm to the public. The main goal of this type of litigation is to protect and preserve the rights of people. This type of litigation can be used by individuals, organisations, corporations and governments as well as non-profit groups and political parties. Under Article 32 of the Constitution, an individual or a group of people can file a PIL in the Supreme Court, in case of violation of fundamental rights mentioned in the Constitution. If you want to properly understand the requirements of the PIL filing process, you should consult and seek guidance from our expert team of legal professionals at Vakilsearch.

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