petitioner, a professor of political science who had done substantial research inthe area of proper implementation of constitutional provisions, challenged thepractice followed by the State of Bihar in re-promulgating a number of ordinances without seeking the approval of the legislature. The court held thatthe petitione
r as a member of public has „sufficient interest‟ to maintain a
petition under Art-32.On 1
Dec 1988, the Supreme Court issued a notification on what matters could be entertained as PIL.
Under thisnotification, letter petitions falling under certain categories alone would betreated, but before that the letter would be first screened in the PIL Cell afterwhich it would be placed before the judge. The categories include mattersconcerning bonded labour, petitions from prisoners, petitions against policeatrocities, petition against atrocities on women, ch
ildren and SC‟s and ST‟s, in
environmental matters etc.The PIL process, to be effective demands proactive action to be taken requiringthe judges to take cognizance of matters
(on their own), as waspracticed by Justice Thakkar of the Gujarat High Court, who converted a letterto the editor in a newspaper written by a widow mentioning her plight becauseof the non-
payment of the „Provident Fund Family Pension‟ after her husbanddeath, and ordered a „Show Cause Notice‟ to be issued without any f
urtherformalities to the Regional Provident Fund Officer. The arrears were paid justafter the first hearing. However there are dangers of
action, e.g. the judges cannot know the motivation of a person in writing a letter to the editor.He has no means of verifying the veracity of the contents of the letter, beforehe/she commences the proceedings.
PIL in the Indian judiciary is also been focused on matters concerning „prisonersrights‟. In the Hussainnara Vs the State of Bihar
- 1980_SCC 81, the attention of the court was drawn to the shocking situation of Bihar under-trials, who had