What is PIL, And Why Does It Matter?

PIL is the authority granted to the public by the courts through the judicial. To learn more about judicial review, continue reading.

Public interest litigation (PIL) has grown in popularity in India, not only as an essential tool of lawful activism but as a means of obtaining replies from the public institutions that are frequently unreachable to the general public. PIL is a system of law in which law courts can begin and impose steps to defend any substantial public or overall interest that is being affected or is likely to be negatively affected by the activity of any organisation, publicly or privately.

PIL Aspects 

The main aspect of PIL is that it is a structure of administering justice that does not necessitate the individual involved to claim compensation from a legal proceeding on their own. Social and legal activists could petition the court to secure remedy for the poor and devastated by the loss segments of society in the public’s interest. Judges can function on their initiative after reading newspaper stories or other source materials.

PIL entails a mixture of classicism associated with the legal system and functionalism associated with a tribunal and/or a different department system. PIL ignores formally using the judicial process. Its inception doesn’t necessitate filing a formal plea in the format prescribed and method with the court. Individuals or organisations demanding retribution could even send a card to the court, and if the courts find it is a suitable case, they can take measures. This is known as the higher courts’ epistolary jurisdiction.

Another new aspect of the PIL system is the consultation of solicitors or others to determine whether or not the judge’s decision has been followed. They could also be selected to head the necessary research into the referred/assigned specific instance.

The basic idea behind public interest litigation has existed for a long time, but it only gained traction in India in 2005. That year, a reputable legal firm filed a PIL against widespread corruption in India. PIL had become a tool for directing bureaucracy to address aspects of public significance that their elected officials had ignored, at least till they were on trial.

The Indian Supreme Court evaluated usage, concluding that good corporate governance cannot be accomplished by restricting activist judges, and court ruling cannot be alleviated in the face of threats faced by a misuse of power. Other lawsuits filed under these regulations have included a ban on women entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, rescue operations following the Muzaffarnagar riots, and issues relating to the mandatory testing of Aadhaar cards, among others. In brief, people have taken advantage of this situation to fight for equality and social justice before the law.

Who Is Eligible To File A PIL?

Any individual or organisation could file a PIL with their right, i.e. to safeguard or impose a right owed to them by the government, or in the best interests of a segment of society that is deprived or victimised and is unable to impose their privileges.

Just a person negotiating in good faith and with a considerable interest in the litigation, even so, will have locus stand to submit a PIL. Anyone confronting the Hon’ble Court for personal benefit, profit-making, political advantage, or any other ambiguous concern will be ignored.


Public interest litigation (PIL) in India refers to a complaint brought to a High Court or lower court to impose a fair and equal public interest. These would be introduced by any citizen who lacks the legal validity to document such a case. Legal Services authorities such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and voluntary organisations also file such cases in the public interest when they believe there’s been an abuse of the trial system or when there are strong reasons to overturn a judgment by a government department or private entities that impact a large number of people. For example, Nav Nirman Trust v Union of India was filed against the creation of state assets by Parliament through statutory powers enacted without the involvement of Parliament. It ruled that article informs under Article 14 were arbitrary.

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Guidelines are accessible on the Supreme Court of India’s webpage. It says, among other things, that some letter petitions that fall under certain classifications alone will normally be handled as PILs, such as petitions relating to environmental polluted air, disruption of the ecological system, drugs, food impurity, culture and heritage preservation, vintage items, forest and wildlife preservation, and other issues of common importance.

Public interest litigation can be classified into three major categories:

  • Judicial intervention – Judicial intervention applies to the case in which the government’s policies are directly challenged in court.
  • Policy transformation through legislation – Instances that attempt to improve the law through Parliament are examples of change in policy through legislation.
  • Administrative changes are cases in which a governmental agency either creates a new strategy or refuses to enforce a previous policy (for instance, on the age limit).


A PIL is an essential judicial aid, particularly for safeguarding anyone unable to reach the courts independently. They are among the most popular ones in judicial proceedings, especially in legal litigation. The court system has tried to standardise PIL regulations to avoid PILs from being filed in the public interest or the best interests of the poor, disabled, or disadvantaged. Even so, there were several instances where people used PILs to further their agendas. As a result, courts must proceed to exercise caution to make sure that PILs aren’t abused.


How is a PIL filed?

Procedure for Issuing a Writ Petition / PIL: To register the case, contact the interest of the public lawyer or organisation. Gather all necessary documents, such as title deeds, proof of residence, proof of identity, notice, resettlement policy, and eviction photographs.

What are PIL’s constraints?

The following are the drawbacks of public interest litigation: There is still the chance that the PIL instrument will be abused by someone claiming to be pursuing the case in the public interest.

What are the benefits of PIL?

Accepting letters and text messages as PILs reduces the costs of such court action and inspires public-spirited groups and individuals to bring to the court’s attention any situation that needs the court’s intervention.

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