Public Interest Litigation
Till 1960s and seventies, the concept of litigation in India was still in its rudimentary formand was seen as a private pursuit for the vindication of private vested interests. Litigation inthose days consisted mainly of some action initiated and continued by certain individuals,usually, addressing their own grievances/problems. Thus, the initiation and continuance of litigation was the prerogative of the injured person or the aggrieved party. Even this wasgreatly limited by the resources available with those individuals. There were very littleorganized efforts or attempts to take up wider issues that affected classes of consumers or the general public at large.However, these entire scenario changed during Eighties with the Supreme Court of India ledthe concept of public interest litigation (PIL).The development of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the country has, however, veryrecently uncovered its own pitfalls and drawbacks. The genuine causes and cases of publicinterest have in fact receded to the background and irresponsible PIL activists all over thecountry have started to play a major but not a constructive role in the arena of litigation.They try to utilize this extraordinary remedy, available at a cheaper cost, as a substitute for ordinary ones.
PIL- A Boon:1.
In Public Interest Litigation (PIL) vigilant citizens of the country can find an inexpensivelegal remedy because there is only a nominal fixed court fee involved in this.
Further, through the so-called PIL, the litigants can focus attention on and achieve results pertaining to larger public issues, especially in the fields of human rights, consumer welfareand environment.
Abuse of PIL:
However, the apex court itself has been compelled to lay down certain guidelines to governthe management and disposal of PILs.Of late, many of the PIL activists in the country have found the PIL as a handy tool of harassment since frivolous cases could be filed without investment of heavy court fees asrequired in private civil litigation and deals could then be negotiated with the victims of stayorders obtained in the so-called PILs. Just as a weapon meant for defence can be used