SYLLABUS SECTION: GS II ( POLITY AND GOVERNANCE)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
- Underlining various issues caused by flippant PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION, the SC imposed penalties on petitioners for filing luxury litigation.
WHAT IS LITIGATION?
- PIL is define as ‘litigation where a public-spirited individual or group even without any personal interest can move to the Supreme Court or High Court for the enforcement of the fundamental rights in the larger public interest.’
- To preserve the purity and sanctity of the PIL, in the State of Uttaranchal v. Balwant Singh Chaufal judgment, SC issued several directions to help constitutional courts separate genuine PIL petitions from frivolous ones. Judgment is as follows:
- Ensuring that it is aimed at redressal of genuine public harm or public injury.
- Ensuring that petition involves issues of larger public interest, gravity, and urgency requires priority.
- Checking the correctness of the contents.
Significance of PIL
- Bringing justice to people who are handicapped by ignorance, indigence,
- Creating a sense of responsibility in public authorities, and Better enjoyment of Fundamental Rights.
- Creating a new regime of human rights by expanding the meaning of the fundamental right to equality, life, and personal liberty.
- Ensuring there is no personal gain, private motive or oblique motive behind the PIL petition.
- Fashioning new kinds of reliefs under the court’s writ jurisdiction.
- Devising new techniques of fact-finding
Issues with PIL:
- Abuse of the process of law: PIL is a tool for harassment because frivolous cases can be filed without heavy court fees.
- Encroachment upon a valuable judicial time.
- Stalling of developmental activities or Proxy Litigation. E.g. Proxy litigation by rival groups (which provided substitutes to asbestos), moved a PIL to stop running asbestos units under the garb of health harms.
- Sometimes misused by the public by seeking publicity rather than supporting the public cause.
- PIL has a tendency to inspire the judiciary into judicial overreach. This has tilted the balance of separation of power towards the judiciary.
- PIL cases have been that of doing only symbolic justice.
Source: The Hindu