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LOCUS STANDI OR STANDING( LAW ) In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate

to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case. In the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the plaintiff is (or will imminently be) harmed by the law. Otherwise, the court will rule that the plaintiff "lacks standing" to bring the suit, and will dismiss the case without considering the merits of the claim of unconstitutionality. To have a court declare a law unconstitutional, there must be a valid reason for the lawsuit. The party suing must have something to lose in order to sue unless it has automatic standing by action of law. International Courts The Council of Europe created the first international court before which individuals have automatic locus stand Canada In Canadian administrative law, whether an individual has standing to bring an application for judicial review, or an appeal from the decision of a tribunal, is governed by the language of the particular statute under which the application or the appeal is brought. Some statutes provide for a narrow right of standing while others provide for a broader right of standing. Frequently a litigant wishes to bring a civil action for a declaratory judgment against a public body or official. This is considered an aspect of administrative law, sometimes

with a constitutional dimension, as when the litigant seeks to have legislation declared unconstitutional. Public interest standing The Supreme Court of Canada developed the concept of public interest standing in three constitutional cases commonly called "the Standing trilogy": Thorson v. Canada (Attorney General), Nova Scotia Board of Censors v. McNeil,and Minister of Justice v. Borowski. The trilogy was summarized as follows in Canadian Council of Churches v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) It has been seen that when public interest standing is sought, consideration must be given to three aspects. First, is there a serious issue raised as to the invalidity of legislation in question? Second, has it been established that the plaintiff is directly affected by the legislation or if not does the plaintiff have a genuine interest in its validity? Third, is there another reasonable and effective way to bring the issue before the court? Public-interest standing is also available in non-constitutional cases, as the Court found in Finlay v. Canada (Minister of Finance). United Kingdom In British administrative law, the applicant needs to have a sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates. This sufficient interest requirement has been construed liberally by the courts. As Lord Diplock put it "it a grave lacuna in our system of public law if a pressure group...or even a single public spirited taxpayer, were prevented by outdated technical rules of locus

standi from bringing the matter to the attention of the court to vindicate the rule of law and get the unlawful conduct stopped." United States In United States law, the Supreme Court of the United States has stated, "In essence the question of standing is whether the litigant is entitled to have the court decide the merits of the dispute or of particular issues." There are a number of requirements that a plaintiff must establish to have standing before a federal court. Some are based on the case or controversy requirement of the judicial power of Article Three of the United States Constitution, As stated there, "The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases and to Controversies ." The requirement that a plaintiff have standing to sue is a limit on the role of the judiciary and the law of Article III standing is built on the idea of separation of powers. Federal courts may exercise power only "in the last resort, and as a necessity" The American doctrine of standing is assumed as having begun with the case of Frothingham v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447 (1923). But, legal standing truly rests its first prudential origins in Fairchild v. Hughes, (1922) which was authored by Justice Brandeis. In Fairchild, a citizen sued the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to challenge the procedures by which the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. Prior to it the doctrine was that all persons had a right to pursue a private prosecution of a public right. Since then the doctrine has been embedded in judicial rules and some statutes. In 2011, in Bond v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held a criminal defendant has standing to challenge the federal statute that he or she is charged with violating as being unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.

Standing requirements There are three standing requirements:

1. Injury: The plaintiff must have suffered or imminently will suffer injuryan

invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized. The injury must be actual or imminent, distinct and palpable, not abstract. This injury could be economic as well as non-economic.
2. Causation: There must be a causal connection between the injury and the

conduct complained of, so that the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant and not the result of the independent action of some third party who is not before the court
3. Redressability: It must be likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that a

favorable court decision will redress the injury. Prudential limitations Additionally, there are three major prudential (judicially created) standing principles. Congress can override these principles via statute:
1. Prohibition of Third Party Standing: A party may only assert his or her own

rights and cannot raise the claims of a third party who is not before the court; exceptions exist where the third party has interchangeable economic interests with the injured party, or a person unprotected by a particular law sues to challenge the oversweeping of the law into the rights of others. For example, a party suing over a law prohibiting certain types of visual material, may sue because the 1st Amendment rights of theirs, and others engaged in similar displays might be damaged.

Additionally, third parties who don't have standing may be able to sue under the next friend doctrine if the third party is an infant, mentally handicapped, or not a party to a contract. One example of a statutory exception to the prohibition of third party standing exists in the qui tam provision of the Civil False Claims Act.
2. Prohibition of Generalized Grievances: A plaintiff cannot sue if the injury is

widely shared in an undifferentiated way with many people. For example, the general rule is that there is no federal taxpayer standing, as complaints about the spending of federal funds are too remote from the process of acquiring them. Such grievances are ordinarily more appropriately addressed in the representative branches.
3. Zone of Interest Test: There are in fact two tests used by the United States

Supreme Court for the Zone of Interest

1. Zone of Injury - The injury is the kind of injury that Congress expected

might be addressed under the statute.

2. Zone of Interests - The party is arguably within the zone of interest

protected by the statute or constitutional provision. Recent development of the doctrineIn 1984, the Supreme Court reviewed and further outlined the standing requirements in a major ruling concerning the meaning of the three standing requirements of injury, causation, and redressability.[20] In the suit, parents of black public school children alleged that the Internal Revenue Service was not enforcing standards and procedures that would deny tax-exempt status to racially discriminatory private schools. The Court found that the plaintiffs did not have the standing necessary to bring suit. Although the Court established a significant

injury for one of the claims, it found the causation of the injury (the nexus between the defendants actions and the plaintiffs injuries) to be too attenuated. "The injury alleged was not fairly traceable to the Government conduct respondents challenge as unlawful". In another major standing case, the Supreme Court elaborated on the redressability requirement for standing. The case involved a challenge to a rule promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior interpreting 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The rule rendered 7 of the ESA applicable only to actions within the United States or on the high seas. The Court found that the plaintiffs did not have the standing necessary to bring suit, because no injury had been established. The injury claimed by the plaintiffs was that damage would be caused to certain species of animals and that this in turn injures the plaintiffs by the reduced likelihood that the plaintiffs would see the species in the future. The court insisted though that the plaintiffs had to show how damage to the species would produce imminent injury to the plaintiffs. The Court found that the plaintiffs did not sustain this burden of proof. "The 'injury in fact' test requires more than an injury to a cognizable interest. It requires that the party seeking review be himself among the injured". The injury must be imminent and not hypothetical. Beyond failing to show injury, the Court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the standing requirement of redressability. The Court pointed out that the respondents chose to challenge a more generalized level of Government action, "the invalidation of which would affect all overseas projects". This programmatic approach has "obvious difficulties insofar as proof of causation or redressability is concerned". In a 2000 case, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. United States ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765 (2000), the United States Supreme Court endorsed the "partial assignment" approach to qui tam relator standing to sue under the False Claims Act

allowing private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government for injuries suffered solely by the government. Taxpayer standing The initial case that established the doctrine of standing, Frothingham v. Mellon, was a taxpayer standing case. Taxpayer standing is the concept that any person who pays taxes should have standing to file a lawsuit against the taxing body if that body allocates funds in a way that the taxpayer feels is improper. The United States Supreme Court has held that taxpayer standing is not a sufficient basis for standing against the United States government, unless the government has allocated funds in a way that violates the Establishment Clause found in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The Court has consistently found that the conduct of the federal government is too far removed from individual taxpayer returns for any injury to the taxpayer to be traced to the use of tax revenues. In DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, the Court extended this analysis to state governments as well. However, the Supreme Court has also held that taxpayer standing is "constitutionally" sufficient to sue a municipal government in a federal court. States are also protected against lawsuits by their sovereign immunity. Even where states waive their sovereign immunity, they may nonetheless have their own rules limiting standing against simple taxpayer standing against the state. Furthermore, states have the power to determine what will constitute standing for a litigant to be heard in a state court, and may deny access to the courts premised on taxpayer standing alone.

In Florida, a taxpayer has standing to sue if the state government is acting unconstitutionally with respect to public funds, or if government action is causing some special injury to the taxpayer that is not shared by taxpayers in general. In Virginia, the Supreme Court of Virginia has more-or-less adopted a similar rule. An individual taxpayer generally has standing to challenge an act of a city or county where they live, but does not have general standing to challenge state expenditures. Standing to challenge statutes With limited exceptions, a party cannot have standing to challenge the constitutionality of a statute unless they will be subjected to the provisions of that statute. Courts will accept First Amendment challenges to a statute on overbreadth grounds, where a person who is only partially affected by a statute can challenge parts that do not affect them on the grounds that laws that restrict speech have a chilling effect on other people's right to free speech. The only other way someone can have standing to challenge the constitutionality of a statute is if the existence of the statute would otherwise deprive them of a right or a privilege even if the statute itself would not apply to them. The Virginia Supreme Court made this point clear in the case of Martin v. Ziherl 607 S.E.2d 367 (Va. 2005). Martin and Ziherl were girlfriend and boyfriend when Martin discovered that Ziherl gave her herpes. She sued him for damages. Because (at the time the case was filed) it was illegal to have sex with someone you're not married to, Martin could not sue Ziherl because joint tortfeasors - those involved in committing a crime - cannot sue each other over acts occurring as a result of a criminal act (Zysk v. Zysk, 404 S.E.2d 721 (Va. 1990)). Martin argued that because of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas (finding that state's sodomy law unconstitutional), Virginia's anti-fornication law

was also unconstitutional for the reasons cited in Lawrence. Martin argued, therefore, she could, in fact, sue Ziherl for damages. Lower courts decided that because the Commonwealth's Attorney doesn't prosecute fornication cases, Martin had no risk of prosecution and thus lacked standing to challenge the statute [cite? or did the lower courts just decide that the statute was still constitutional, so that Martin could not sue? Maybe the issue was that Ziherl asserted Martin was unlikely to be prosecuted under the little-used statute?]. Martin appealed. Since Martin has something to lose - the ability to sue Ziherl for damages - if the statute is upheld, she had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the statute. And since the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence has found that there is a privacy right in one's private, noncommercial sexual practices, the Virginia Supreme Court decided that the statute against fornication was unconstitutional. The finding gave Martin standing to sue Ziherl since the decision in Zysk is no longer applicable. However, the only reason Martin had standing to challenge the statute was that she had something to lose if it stayed on the books.

State law State law on standing differs substantially from federal law and varies considerably from state to state. California On December 29, 2009, the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth District ruled that California Code of Civil Procedure Section 367 cannot be read as imposing a federal9

style standing doctrine on California's code pleading system of civil procedure. In California, the fundamental inquiry is always whether the plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded a cause of action, not whether the plaintiff has some entitlement to judicial action separate from proof of the substantive merits of the claim advanced. The court acknowledged that the word "standing" is often sloppily used to refer to what is really jus tertii, and31] held that jus tertii in state law is not the same thing as the federal standing doctrine.


In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court in sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that partys participation in the case. Otherwise, the court will rule that the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the suit and will dismiss the case without considering the merits of the claim. But the public interest litigations developed the concept of public interest standing which is a form to widen the scope of the locus standi. Public Interest litigation demanded for objectivity, forensic skill, procedural gamesmanship and socio-legal perception. Access to justice and narrow locus standi were the greatest road blocks in the advancement of Public interest litigation but by the dilution of the scope of the locus standi the mechanism of PIL was developed. Basically the principle of locus standi is introduced by Anglo-Saxon system of Jurisprudence. Requirements of Locus Standi: The survey of important relevant cases on public interest by class action


shows a mixed trend; at times make a narrow view and at times a liberal view in different countries. Basically there are three standing requirements. They are:-

1. Personal Injury 2. Causation 3. Redressability

1. Injury: - The plaintiff must have suffered or imminently will suffer injury- an invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized. The injury must be actual or imminent, distinct and palpable, not abstract. This injury could be economic as well as non-economic.

2. Causation: - There must be a casual connection between the injury and the conduct complained of, so that injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant and not the result of the independent action of some third party who is not before the court.

3. Redressability: - It must be likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that a favorable court decision will redress the injury. Prudential Limitations of Locus Standi:Additionally there are three major prudential limitations or judicially created standing principles. Those principles were widened depending on the circumstances:

1. Prohibition of Third Party Standing:- A party may assert his or her own rights and cannot raise the claims of a third party who is not before the court exceptions exist where the third party has interchangeable economic interests with the injured party, or a

person unprotected by a particular law sues to challenge the over sweeping of the law into the rights of others. 2. Prohibition of Generalized Grievances: - A plaintiff cannot sue if the injury is widely shared in an undifferentiated way with many people. Only personal injuries were considered as a matter of suit. 3. Zone of Interest Test: - The party must be within the zone of interest protected by the statute or constitutional provision. Steady Expansion of Locus Standi:- One of the most important issues confronting the public interest litigation was the problem of locus standi which stood in the way of the weaker sections of the society. Who should have standing or legal capacity to challenge an administrative act or omission or commission which was productive of public mischief or public inquiry without affecting any private right law litigation which was of ancient vintage and insisted on direct injury to the aggrieved person, who alone could bring an action. It was designed to protect individual against specific injury caused to him by the state. The state was taught to be the sole guardian of public interest and individual has no role to play in overseeing the administration. Individual as such, exercised no general control over the administration to check its illegal actions or abuse of power by acitivising the judicial process against them. a.Restrictive Rule:- Under the restrictive rule of locus standi only a person aggrieved could go to the court for relief other members of the public has no access to the court, unless they also suffered an additional or special injury. b. Flexibility Introduced in Narrow Concept:- In course of time courts had shown some flexibility in their narrow approach to locus standi by broadly interpreting words aggrieved person. But they did so without any conscious desire to liberalize the rules. Even before the advent of public interest litigation the courts had evolved some exceptions to strict and traditional requirements of standing. A few exceptions to traditional view of locus

standi were accepted in different cases by different jurists. In K.R.Shehnoy vs. Udipi Municipality , it was stated that residents in the area could object the action of municipality sanctioning a cinema house. In Municipal Corporation vs. Govind Laxman Savant , It was held that right of a tax payer against local bodies even in the absence of any personal injury had been permitted because the tax payer had a special interest in the functioning of a local body. Thus a rate payer could prevent a Corporation from acting against the law. In Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 under order XXXII the rule of locus standi is exempted in such a way that on behalf of a minor or unsound mind or person having some disability his next friend could sue in representative capacity. Also under Order 1 Rule 8, one or more of the several persons interested in some subject matter could institute suit with the permission of the court. Under Section 91 of the same code, for a public nuisance or like wrong, suit could be brought by Advocate General or two or more of the persons likely to be affected for declaration or injury. c. Need for Liberalization of Locus Standi:- In the year 1976, Mr. Justice Krishna Iyer, noted for his unconventional approaches and iconoclastic spirit in the cause of social justice and developed public interest litigation, advocated liberal interpretation of locus standi in Public Interest Litigation in Dhabolkar Case. It was felt by the court that it must be possible for some public spirited individual to seek remedy on behalf of poor disadvantaged, deprived and dispossessed people. Though in this case a process of steady expansion of doctrine of locus standi was set in, the standing of Bar Council of State was held as person aggrieved for the purpose of appeal to the Bar Council of India against the decision of disciplinary Committee of State Bar Council for public interest in the maintenance of professional conduct and morality of legal profession. Community Orientation of Locus Standi:- Public Interest litigation took a new dimension in 1980 when the Supreme Court came forward to protect public interest

against common injury, danger, annoyance, or obstruction to people in general by local authority, public undertaking or municipal corporations. In Ratlam Municipal Council vs. Vardichand the plea of municipality of lack of funds to carry out the amenities was rejected as an invalid defence and suggested several schemes to bring reliefs to the residents of the locality. Besides, broadening the locus standi, the affirmative action is invoked by the court in this case opened up infinite possibilities for creative approaches in judicial action in the service of large group of people. Locus Standi in its long march from ancient tradition to the modern trend has covered many a mile stones from the requirement of injury to legal rights, the concept of individual interest, then to special interest, again to class interest and now to sufficient interest.

a. Locus Standi of Fellow Prisoners:- In Sunil Batra vs. Delhi Administration , the locus standi of a fellow prisoner was recognized and the Supreme Court accepted the habeas Corpus of a fellow prisoner complaining a brutal assault by the Head Warden on another prisoner. The court broadened the scope of habeas corpus by making it available to a prisoner not only for seeking his liberty but also for the enforcement of rights to which he was lawfully entitled even during his confinement. b. Locus Standi to Private Citizen:- In P.S.R.Sadhananthan vs. Sruna Chalarn , the Supreme Court permitted a private citizen to invoke the special power of the Supreme Court under Article 136 for leave to appeal against the acquittal of the murderer and recognized the locus standi of the brother of the decease. Court observed that in cases where the court was convinced that the public interest justifies, Court grants locus standi to private persons. c. Locus Standi to a Private Trust:- In Consumer Education and Research Centre Vs. State of Gujarat decided on June 23, 1981, Court granted locus standi to this centre, a

private trust, devoted to the cause of consumer protection, which challenged the order of the government of winding up the Macchu II Doon Enquiry Commission set by the government under the commission of inquiry Act, 1952 to investigate into the collapse of Macchu Dam resulting in serious disaster to the community. Complete Liberalization of Locus Standi: Clearing all impediments obstructing development of public interest litigation, a comprehensive exposition was given to the concept of PIL in the judgment of Judges Transfer Case. In S.P.Gupta vs. Union of India, the Judges has given ultimate farewell to the concept of locus standi, a way for free flow of public interest litigation was proved. The scope of PIL was thus enlarged to a great extent by Justice Bhagwati who proved to be the architect of PIL Jurisprudence in India. Asiad Case:- In People Union for Democratic Rights vs. Union of India, the court expanded the doctrine of locus standi by applying the court to allow a civil rights organization. It was stated that removal of hurdle of locus standi gave a great phillip to public interest litigation with the result that no one can be prevented from approaching the court on the ground that he had no direct interest in the outcome of litigation. According to Schwartz and Wade ,Restrictive rules about standing are in general inimical to a healthy system of administrative law. If a plaintiff with a good cause is turned away, merely because he is not sufficiently affected personally, that means that some government agency is left free to violate the law, and that is contrary to the public interest. In Fertilizer Corporation Kamgar Union vs. Union of India , Justice P.N.Bhagawati stated as under: In simple terms, locus standi must be liberalized to meet the challenges of the time. Ubi Jus Ibi remedium must be enlarged to embrass all interests of public minded citizens or organizations with serious concerns for the conservation of public resources and the direction and correction of public power so as to promote justice in its triunity facets. Restrictive rules of standing are antithesis to a healthy system of administrative law.

Public interest litigation is a part of the process of participation justice and standing in civil litigation of that pattern must have liberal reception at the judicial door steps.

PIL IN INDIA In Indian law, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) means litigation for the protection of the public interest. It is litigation introduced in a court of law, not by the aggrieved party but by the court itself (suo motu) or by any other private party. It is not necessary, for the exercise of the court's jurisdiction, that the person who is the victim of the violation of his or her right should personally approach the court. In Public Interest Litigation, the power to file a suit is given to a member of the public by the courts etc. through judicially conscious judicial activism.That member of the public can be a NGO, Institution or an individual.In India, Supreme Court, rejecting the criticism of judicial activism, has said the judiciary has stepped in to give directions only because of executive inaction what with laws enacted by Parliament and the State legislatures in the last 63 years for the poor not being implemented properly.

The Supreme Court of India in Sunil Batra (II) v. Delhi Administration, 1980 (3) SCC 488 : 1980 SCC (Cri) 777 : AIR 1980 SC 1579 : 1980 CriLJ 1099 has accepted a letter written to the Supreme Court by one Sunil Batra, a prisoner from Tihar Jail, Delhi complaining of inhuman torture in the jail. In Dr. Upendra Baxi (I) v. State of U.P., AIR 1987 SC 191 the court entertained letter sent by the two Professors of Delhi University seeking enforcement of the constitutional right of the inmates in a Protective Home, at Agra who were living in inhuman and degrading conditions. In Miss Veena

Sethi v. State of Bihar, 1982 (2) SCC 583 : 1982 SCC (Cri) 511 : AIR 1983 SC 339 the Court treated letter addressed to a Judge of the Court by the Free Legal Aid Committee at Hazaribagh, Bihar as a writ petition. In Citizens for Democracy through its President v. State of Assam and Others, 1995 KHC 486 : 1995 (2) KLT SN 74 : 1995 (3) SCC 743 : 1995 SCC (Cri) 600 : AIR 1996 SC 2193 the Court entertained a letter addressed by Shri Kuldip Nayar, an eminent journalist, in his capacity as President of "Citizens for Democracy" to one of the Judges of the Court complaining of human rights violations of TADA detenues and the same was treated as a petition under Art.32. Prior to the 1980s, only the aggrieved party could approach the courts for justice. However, post 1980s and after theemergency era, 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. Justice P. N. Bhagwati andJustice V. R. Krishna Iyer were among the first judges to admit PIL's in the court. Filing a PIL is not as cumbersome as any other legal case and there have been instances when even letters and telegrams addressed to the court have been taken up as PIL's and heard by the court.

Interference made by Courts in Public Interest Litigations

The Bombay High Court on 31 August 2006 directed the broadcasters to give an undertaking that they will abide by the Cable Television Network Act 1995 as well as the court's orders by tomorrow, in view of larger public interest. A division bench comprising Justices R M Lodha and S A Bubbey were hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Professor Pratibha Nathani of St Xavier's College alleging that films without certification by the Censor Board for Film Certification (CBFC) allowing 'free public exhibition', were being shown on cable

channels, which have a bad impact on children. Hence, such films should not be shown and action be taken against those still running such content on their channels. The court on 23 August had allowed the cable operators and channels to screen only 'U' and 'U/A' certified films. However, before that order, the police had taken action against the Multi-system operators and seized their decoders due to which they could not telecast certain channels. Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjay Apranti told the court that they did not have a problem if the channels provided the cable operators with new decoders. Also, Zee Television and Star Television networks applied for the declaration in writing that they would abide by the said Act and court orders. The court also directed seven channelsStar Movies, Star One, Star Gold, HBO, ZEE Movies, AXN and Sony Maxto furnish a list of all the films that they were to screen to the police.

Frivolous PILs
Public Interest Litigation is a RULE OF DECLARED LAW by the Courts of Record However, the person or entity filing the petition must prove to the satisfaction of the court that the petition is being filed for a larger public interest and not just as a frivolous litigation by a busy body or for individual or pecuniary gains and profit. The 38th Chief Justice of India Justice S. H. Kapadia said huge costs would be imposed on litigants filing frivolous public interest litigation (PIL) petitions. His statement was widely welcomed because instances of unscrupulous elements filing PILs to advance personal or pecuniary interest had witnessed an upward trend in recent

years. And last year too, a bench of the apex court raised concern over the misuse of PILs. The same bench had also issued a set of guidelines, which it wanted all courts in the country to observe while entertaining PILs. In a speech in September 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also expressed concern over the misuse of the PIL: Many would argue that like in so many things in public life, in PILs too we may have gone too far. Perhaps a corrective was required and we have had some balance restored in recent times. Now, in what could result in the most effective tool against frivolous PILs, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice is giving final touches to a law to regulate the PIL. And helping the Ministry in its endeavour is none other than former Chief Justice of India P N Bhagwati, acknowledged as somebody who along with Justice V R Krishna Iyer pioneered the concept of PIL in the country. Chastising those who move courts with such dubious motives, the judgment said: This court wants to make it clear that an action at law is not a game of chess. A litigant who approaches the court must come with clean hands. He cannot prevaricate and take inconsistent positions. Since the Amar Singh petition was vague, not conforming to the rules of procedure and riddled with inconsistencies, the court did not go into his main grievance infringement of privacy. The only positive outcome of the case was the courts request to the government to frame certain statutory guidelines to prevent interception of telephone conversation on unauthorised requests. In this case, Reliance Infocom acted on a forged request from the police. In the judgment of Kalyaneshwari vs Union of India, the court deprecated misuse of public interest litigation to wage business battles. A writ petition was filed in the Gujarat High Court seeking the closure of asbestos units, alleging that the material was

harmful to humans. The high court dismissed it, stating that the petition was filed at the behest of rival industrial groups that wanted to push their products as substitute for asbestos. Undaunted, a similar petition was then moved in the Supreme Court. The plea was not only dismissed, but the person who mooted it was asked to pay cost of Rs 1 lakh and sit in the court for a whole day. The judgment said: The petition lacks bona fide and in fact was instituted at the behest of a rival industrial group, which was interested in banning of the activity of mining and manufacturing of asbestos. A definite attempt was made by it to secure a ban on these activities with the ultimate intention of increasing the demand of cast and ductile iron products as they are some of the suitable substitute for asbestos. Thus it was litigation initiated with ulterior motive of causing industrial imbalance and financial loss to the industry of asbestos through the process of court. The court declared that it was its duty in such circumstances to punish the petitioners exercising its power under the Contempt of Courts Act. The court must ensure that such unscrupulous and undesirable public interest litigation be not instituted in courts of law so as to waste the valuable time of the courts as well as preserve the faith of the public in the justice delivery system. By now it ought to be plain and obvious that this Court does not approve of an approach that would encourage petitions filed for achieving oblique motives on the basis of wild and reckless allegations made by individuals, ie, busybodies, a Bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar observed in their March 29 judgment released on Thursday. The Bench overruled an Andhra Pradesh High Court decision of April 2010 in which it set aside the services of a retired IPS officer on special duty with the Tirumala Tirupathi temple. The High Courts decision was on a public interest petition filed by one S Mangati Gopal Reddy, who alleged in court that the IPS officer,

P Seshadri, was involved in the loss of 300 gold dollars from the temple and should not continue in office.The Supreme Court, surprisingly, found that the High Court had decided against Seshadri with very little information about Reddy himself, except that he is an agriculturist by profession and a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateshwara (the temple deity) since childhood. The parameters within which PILs can be entertained have been laid down. The credentials, the motive and the objective of the petitioner have to be apparently and patently aboveboard. Otherwise the petition is liable to be dismissed at the threshold,the judgment stated. Reasoning as to why it continues to skeptical about a large number of PILs, the Bench speaks for the Supreme Court when it says that judiciary has to be extremely careful to see that behind the beautiful veil of public interest an ugly private malice, vested interest and/or publicity-seeking is not lurking. This Court (Supreme Court of India) must not allow its process to be abused for oblique considerations by masked phantoms who monitor at times from behind, it said.

Empirical study on PIL results

According to a controversial study by Hans Dembowski, PIL has been successful in the sense of making official authorities accountable to civil society organisations. While this social scientist also found some effect on the ground level, PIL cases dealing with major environmental grievances in the Kolkata agglomeration did not tackle underlying problems such as inadequate town planning. Dembowski's book Taking the State to Court - Public Interest Litigation and the Public Sphere in Metropolitan India was originally published by Oxford University Press in 2001. The publisher, however, soon

discontinued distribution because of contempt of court proceedings started by the Calcutta High Court. The author, who claims he was never officially notified by the Court, has since republished the book online with the Germany-based NGO Asia House.

Arguments Against PIL

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly pointed out that laws enacted for achieving the goals set out in the Preamble to the Constitution had been extremely inadequate and tardy, and the benefit of welfare measures enshrined in those legislation had not reached millions of poor, downtrodden and disadvantaged sections, nor did efforts to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots yield the desired result. Writing the judgment in a case related to sewerage workers, Justice Singhvi said: The most unfortunate part of the scenario is that whenever one of the three constituents of the state i.e. the judiciary issues directions for ensuring that the right to equality, life and liberty no longer remains illusory for those who suffer from the handicaps of poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, and directions are given for implementation of the laws enacted by the legislature for the benefit of the have-nots, a theoretical debate is started by raising the bogey of judicial activism or overreach. The Bench clarified that it deemed it necessary to erase the impression and misgivings among some people that the superior courts, by entertaining PIL petitions for espousing the cause of the poor who could not seek protection and vindication of their rights, exceeded the unwritten boundaries of their jurisdiction. The judges said it was the duty of the judiciary, like that of the political and executive constituents of the state, to protect the rights of every citizen and ensure that everyone lived with dignity.

Such cases may occur in public interest when the victims do not have the necessary consciousness, know-how or resources to commence litigation or their freedom to move court has been suppressed or encroached upon. The court can itself take cognisance of the matter and proceed suo motu or cases can commence on the petition of any publicspirited individual or body. Further courts can also take cognizance on the basis of letters written to them or Newspaper Reports.


The topic locus standi and public

interest litigation explains the basic meaning of locus standi and the expansion of the as a path for the development of public interest litigation(PIL). The topic examines the locus standi that exist in various countries of the world and its role in development of public interest litigation. The locus standi development in terms of taxpayers, challenge to statutes, state laws etc., The topic studies about the growth of PIL in India and the changing role of Indian judiciary. The topic also explains about PIL as a matter of justice in Asian countries and also the PIL as a means of judicial activism. The topic also studies the important case laws and judgments of supreme court of India and also the judgments of the apex courts of various countries of the world.

SCOPE OF STUDY: The study gives a brief summary of the meaning and
evolution of locus standi . The topic tells about the expansion of locus standi as a measure for the development of public interest litigation(PIL). The topic studies about the changing role of Indian judiciary in relation to PILS taken up by the various high courts of India including the supreme court of India. The topic gives a detailed report of the PIL movement in Asian countries. The topic takes a critical view of the PIL in India

and the growth of PIL in India. The topic looks into the inferences made by various courts in relation to PIL and also the various arguments made for and against PIL movement in India.

HYPOTHESIS : The study is designed to assess the hypothesis that:

1.Locus standi and its expansion as a path for the development of PIL in various countries of the world including India. 2. PIL movement in India is ever growing and spreading bring into many new areas under its ambit. 3. PIL and judicial activism go hand in hand in protecting the rights of the people which put at risk by the legislature and the executive. 4. PIL is a sword which is sharp on both sides, hence it should be used in a good sense and as tool for the protection of the rights of the deprived. 5. The suo motu cases of various high courts of India and the supreme court of India are a clear indication that Indian judiciary is changing according to the changing needs of the people.

METHODOLOGY FOLLOWED As is well known at the present day a research scholar cannot depend upon any one particular method of preparation of a thesis. A combination of different methods is required to achieve the best possible results. Thus a doctrinal and analytical method has been applied mainly in the preparation of the present work. Where necessary

comparative and critical methods are also employed to have a detailed study of the subject under consideration.


OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY: The following are the objectives of the

dissertation: 1. The primary objective of the study is to understand the meaning of locus standi, the expansion of locus standi and the locus standi that exist in various countries of the world and its development as a path for development of PIL
2. The second objective of the study to take a critical review of the PIL in India. 3. The third objective of the study to learn about the growth of PIL in India. 4. The fourth objective of the study is to understand the Asian overview of the PIL. 5. The fifth objective of the study is understand the relation between PIL and judicial

activism. 6. The sixth objective of the study is to learn about the changing role of Indian judiciary for the protection of the rights of people.
7. Thefinal objective of the study is to learn the important judgments pronounced

by various countries of the world and also the high courts and the supreme court of India.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION: The required materials needed for the dissertation have been collected mainly by applying doctrinal approach. The various sources of information utilized in the making of this dissertation includes sources of law like legislation, case laws, text books, articles, legislative bills etc. It is basically textual in approach as contrasted to nondoctrinal approach which is primarily contextual in nature. In the preparation of this

dissertation, adopting the above mentioned techniques data has been collected from various enactments and the cases decided by the forums, agencies, commissions and the courts in various parts of the world, authoritative text books, seminar reports, internet etc.

CHAPTERIZATION : The dissertation contains the following chapters:

1. MEANING OF LOCUS STANDI AND ITS EXPANSION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PIL: This chapter studies the basic meaning of locus standi and the locus standi in various countries of the world. It also studies that expansion of locus standi in the development of PIL.
2. PIL IN INDIA A CRITICAL REVIEW: This chapter takes a detailed look

into the development of PIL movement in India. The history behind the evolution of locus standi and ultimately the development of PIL. 3. GROWTH OF PIL IN INDIA: This chapters aims at finding out the various reasons behind the development of PIL in India. It studies the emergence of PIL as a tool to protect the rights of the people of all classes.

studies as to how the newly emerging countries of Asia are able to deliver justice to the poor who are the majority of the population. The judiciary of Asian countries is keen in the development of PIL as a means for protecting the rights of poor and down trodden. 5. PIL AND JUDICIAL ACTIVISM: This chapter studies the interrelation between the public interest litigation and judicial activism in India and also in the various other countries of the world. Judicial activism and PIL go

hand- in-hand in developing a better tomorrow for the poor and under privileged . 6. CHANGING ROLE OF INDIAN JUDICIARY: This topic takes a keen look into the judicial system and its development right from the British Raj to the present day. Indian judiciary has become a role model for the various other judiciaries of the world in terms of judicial activism and public interest litigation aspects. Indian judiciary is on the road to progress for the protection of the rights of the people of India in general and poor and down trodden in particular.
7. IMPORTANT CASE LAWS AND JUDGMENTS: This chapter studies the

important cases in terms of PIL in various countries of the world and India in particular. The judgments of supreme court of India are a milestone in the development of judicial activism and a path for the progress of PIL movement in India.