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Assignment II Public Interest Litigation
Submitted to: Mrs. Anu Kohli
Masters of Business Administration Department of Business Administration University Of Lucknow Name: Anuradha Sharma Roll No: 12 MBA (regular) Semester- I, 2010
the apex court decided to reach out to the people and hence it devised an innovative way wherein a person or a civil society group could approach the supreme court seeking legal remedies in cases where public interest is at stake. only the aggrieved party could approach the courts for justice. • Against Whom can Public Interest Litigation be filed? A Public Interest Litigation can be filed only against a State or Central Government. and not any private party. The presence of 'public interest' is important to file a PIL.Origins of Public Interest Litigation Prior to the 1980s. in that it is not filed by one private person against another for the enforcement of a personal right. For example. after making the concerned State authority a party. However a "Private party" can be included in the Public Interest Litigation as a "Respondent". then people living in its vicinity or any other person can file a PIL against the Government of India. in the case of a private factory in say Delhi is causing pollution. What is Public Interest Litigation? Litigation for public interest (PIL) was started to protect the fundamental rights of people who are poor. However. post 1980s and after the emergency era. When Can Public Interest Litigation be filed? A PIL can be filed when the following conditions are fulfilled: • • There must be a public injury and public wrong caused by the wrongful act or omission of the state or public authority. It is for the enforcement of basic human rights of weaker sections of the community who are downtrodden. 2 Anuradha Sharma . the State Pollution Board and also against the private factory. It is different from ordinary litigation. ignorant and whose fundamental and constitutional rights have been infringed. It has the effect of making judicial process little more democratic. Municipal Authorities. ignorant or in socially / economically disadvantaged position. It must not be frivolous litigation by persons having vested interests.
Any person can file a PIL provided: • • • He is a member of the public acting bona fide and having sufficient interest in instituting an action for redressal of public wrong or public injury. and then two copies of the petition have to be filed. 3. He is not a mere busy body or a meddlesome interloper. Also. Litigation can be expensive. More guidelines for how to file a Public Interest Litigation 1. It is not necessary that the petitioner has suffered some injury of his own or has had personal grievance to litigate. then (four + one) (i. His action is not motivated by personal gain or any other oblique consideration How to file a Public Interest Litigation? A PIL may be filed like a written petition. i. the concerned State Government. five) sets of petition have to be filed. and State authority has to be made a party Who may file Public Interest Litigation? • • A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) can be filed in any High Court or directly in the Supreme Court. 2. One should be careful in filing a case because i. a PIL cannot be filed against the private party alone. Procedure In Supreme Court: If a PIL is filed in the Supreme Court.e. Supreme Court has treated even letters addressed to the court as PIL.However. opposite party.e. Consult all affected interest groups who are possible allies. Procedure in High Court: A PIL is filed in a High court. 3 Anuradha Sharma . and this proof of service has to be affixed on the petition. Make an informed decision to file a case. The opposite party is served the copy only when notice is issued. an advance copy of the petition has to be served on the each respondent.
sewer problems. by opposite party. Litigation can be time consuming. 4 Anuradha Sharma • • . If the decision is taken i. to inspect allegations like pollution being caused. Collecting complete relevant information ii.Litigation can take away decision making capability/strength from communities. trees being cut. If you are handling the matter yourself make sure you get good legal advice on the drafting. viii. Be meticulous in gathering detail for use in the case. iii. in the PIL commence and carry on in the same manner. in between the proceedings if the judge feels he may appoint a commissioner.ii. Consult a lawyer on the choice of forum.g. as other cases • However. An adverse decision can affect the strength of the movement. and the judge gives his final decision. and rejoinder by the petitioner. final hearing takes place. If photographs are used. then one must retain the negatives and take an affidavit from the photographer. v. Steps Involved in proceedings of Public Interest Litigation: Proceedings. iv. vi. Maintain records in an organized fashion. A good lawyer with an experience in PILS will add advantage. A PIL can be filed only by a registered organization. 4. Engage a competent lawyer. Retain the bills as well. etc • After filing of replies. For e. Research based evidence will hold well in a PIL. Must be communicated to the relevant authorities and the demands must be clear. It will be good to make an NGO working on the issue a party to the petition. v. Filing a suit against the government would require issuing a notice to the concerned officer department at least two months prior to filing. iv. iii . If you are unregistered. Litigation involvement can divert the attention of the community from the real issues. vii. if there can be more than one organization agreeing on an issue it will hold more ground in the court. please file the PIL in the name of an office bearer/member in his/her personal capacity. for eg in a PIL on malnutrition deaths you need reports indicating it and data of the state regarding child mortality rates from various government surveys. One may have to issue a legal notice to the concerned parties/authorities before filing a PIL. IMPORTANT Strategies for Public Interest Litigation • The allegations against state and private party should be backed by reliable evidence.
Further. through the so-called PIL. the apex court itself has been compelled to lay down certain guidelines to govern the management and disposal of PILs. ABUSE OF Public Interest Litigation: 1. As a result. Union Of India . 5 Anuradha Sharma . Supreme Court issued appropriate orders and directions for enforcing the laws to protect ecology. Union of India (1988) 1 SCC 471 – In a Public Interest Litigation brought against Ganga water pollution so as to prevent any further pollution of Ganga water. A BOON Public Interest Litigation: 1. consumer welfare and environment. In Public Interest Litigation (PIL) vigilant citizens of the country can find an inexpensive legal remedy because there is only a nominal fixed court fee involved in this. 2.C Mehta V.EXAMPLE CASES OF Public Interest Litigation M. Of late. Supreme Court held that petitioner although not a riparian owner is entitled to move the court for the enforcement of statutory provisions. And the abuse of PIL is also increasing along with its extended and multifaceted use. the development of PIL has also uncovered its pitfalls and drawbacks. 2. as he is the person interested in protecting the lives of the people who make use of the Ganga water. especially in the fields of human rights. 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 as required in private civil litigation and deals could then be negotiated with the victims of stay orders obtained in the socalled PILs. However. Council For Environment Legal Action V. the litigants can focus attention on and achieve results pertaining to larger public issues.(1996)5 SCC281 : Public Interest Litigation filed by registered voluntary organization regarding economic degradation in coastal area.
IES has been the organizer and host of six such global conferences starting from 1981. The concern at the moment is to consolidate and build on the gains with a long-term perspective on the larger issue of environmental management in India. focused action such as clean Ganga campaigns.3. 1. Non Government Organizations (NGOs) for the protection of Environment All over the world. mobilizing the local communities in sustained high-pitched campaigns. One of the various means that IES has adopted in helping people to enrich their knowledge about environment and development. Continuing this tradition for over 30 years of its existence. A key issue for Eco Friends is protecting the river Ganga from various sources of pollution. http://www.org 2. "Eco Friends performs all such acts that may assist in or be conducive to fostering environmental education. Though the extent of environment degradation is still worrying. help protect the natural riches of our planet and promote balance within communities by helping those most in need. 6 Anuradha Sharma . Indian Environmental Society (IES) is one of the pioneering environmental NGO in India working in the field of Environmental Education and Sustainable Development. These conferences had been supported by several governmental and nongovernmental organizations. & 2001. protection and security". 1997. Just as a weapon meant for defence can be used equally effectively for offence. 1993. the lowering of the locus standi requirement has permitted privately motivated interests to pose as public interests. thousands of small NGOs. through 1985. a Kanpur based non-governmental organisation (NGO). 1989. far from the public eye. is to organize national and international conferences and workshops focusing on the contemporary issues relating to environment. and were attended by a large number of people from diverse fields and activities from different parts of the globe. legal activism through public interest litigation and persistent advocacy with media. The abuse of PIL has become more rampant than its use and genuine causes either receded to the background or began to be viewed with the suspicion generated by spurious causes mooted by privately motivated interests in the disguise of the socalled public interests.ecofriends. IES has been among the forerunner in leading the environmental movement in India. Eco Friends. Eco Friends has been involved in generating mass awareness and deepening of national and international public debate on pollution-related issues. Eco Friends has due achievements in a number of areas including passing of landmark judicial pronouncements to check river pollution and initiation of remedial steps by industry and government alike. has been working in a sustained way over the last fifteen years on critical issues of environmental degradation. Since its inception in 1972. opinion makers and other stakeholders.
Headed by well known environmentalist Suresh Heblikar. voluntary effort. campaign support. It is not sponsored by any other party but depends on time given freely. Bryant to call this unprecedented rate of species extinctions "one of the swiftest and most profound biological catastrophes in the history of the earth.Rotary Bangalore IT Corridor (RBITC) has a dream -. Green Dream . OTHERS • • • • • Eco Watch . Bluepeace was initiated by a young group and founded on 11th September of 1989. and advocacy on a variety of environmental and social justice issues. Bluepeace is strictly a non-governmental organization and registered in Maldives. on subscriptions. 7 Anuradha Sharma . Its main functions involve research. In the immediate phase of the project.org/ 3. knowledge and understanding. SEACOLOGY is the world's premier nonprofit environmental organization with the sole purpose of preserving the highly endangered biodiversity of islands throughout the world.http://www.org 4. donations and fund raising. Bluepeace is made up of concerned individuals who wish to ensure that the natural environment is used wisely and continues to be available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. leading biologist Dr. In the last 400 years the majority of the world's plant and animal extinctions have taken place on islands. Greenpeace India Jalasangama . for linking human rights with environmental protection.000 trees in a 22 sq km area and thereby make a major impact on the environment.a National NGO. Peter J." http://www. RBITC plans to turn Whitefield green by planting 100.seacology. This group of concerned people aimed at diverting some of their energy in conserving our common environment which is being misused and degraded due to lack of awareness.to turn the green clock of Bangalore back closer to what it was – the garden city. training.environmentevents. founded in 1996 and registered as a Public Charitable Trust in 1998. Environment Support Group (ESG) is an independent not-for-profit nongovernmental organization. proposes to act as catalyst in the holy mission of creating River Nets.
way Project Agastya .Based in Bangalore and committed to finding solutions to problems related to solid waste.better. » The liberal interpretation of locus standi where any person can apply to the court on behalf of those who are economically or physically unable to come before it has helped. etc. addressing issues of food security and health has become critical. Wildlife Imprints -Wildlife Imprints comprises of a team of enthusiastic people sharing a common vision and concern towards wildlife and its environment. Vanastree . more efficient and Sustainable Water Resources Management in Bangalore Rainwater Club .The desire to make available the wide variety of semi-wild and cultivated plant species of the region motivates this effort. This has made it easier for the courts to haul up the executive when it is not performing its duties in ensuring the rights of the poor as per the law of the land. Trees For Free . » India has some of the most progressive social legislation to be found anywhere in the world whether it be relating to bonded labor.• • • Kshiti Foundation . Judges themselves have in some cases initiated suo moto action based on newspaper articles or letters received 8 Anuradha Sharma .The Bangalorean's Guide to Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting • • • • Saahas . Saahas has also worked extensively to introduce ewaste mangement both in corporate offices as well as schools and households. In this context.Our vision is to create sensitivity towards environment & to awaken the philanthropic side of mankind. Among the numerous factors that have contributed to the growth of PIL in this country. Unlike Britain. the following deserve special mention: » The character of the Indian Constitution. CDS and floppies. In association with a corporate partner WeP Peripherals they have set up a collection and safe recycling sytem for frequently used e-waste products like dry cell batteries. minimum wages. The area has seen the rise and sharp fall in the prices of areca. India has a written constitution which through Part III (Fundamental Rights) and Part IV (Directive Principles of State Policy) provides a framework for regulating relations between the state and its citizens and between citizens inter-se.With the permission of Government they plan trees by involving the community. We shall facilitate contribution from everyone who would like to enrich human lives in a significant. Our goal is to help promote conservation of forests and it's flora and fauna by imbibing this awareness into the minds of today's youth. environmental protection. land ceiling. Wildlife Imprints is a tiny step with a conviction towards creating an awareness to save wildlife and preserve its natural state. the region’s predominant cash crop.
Similarly in the Asiad workers judgment case. right to live with dignity. courts have appointed commissions to collect information on facts and present it before the bench. right to education. courts have creatively read these into fundamental rights thereby making them judicially enforceable. For instance the "right to life" in Article 21 has been expanded to include right to free legal aid. » Sensitive judges have constantly innovated on the side of the poor. in the Bandhua Mukti Morcha case in 1983. right to work. 9 Anuradha Sharma . freedom from torture. for instance. Bhagwati held that anyone getting less than the minimum wage can approach the Supreme Court directly without going through the labor commissioner and lower courts » In PIL cases where the petitioner is not in a position to provide all the necessary evidence. etc. the Supreme Court put the burden of proof on the respondent stating it would treat every case of forced labor as a case of bonded labor unless proven otherwise by the employer. either because it is voluminous or because the parties are weak socially or economically. Justice P.» Although social and economic rights given in the Indian Constitution under Part IV are not legally enforceable. barfetters and hand cuffing in prisons.N.
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