Public Interest Litigation – Guardian of Human Rights in India

  • Shubham Sonthalia
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  • Shubham Sonthalia

    Student at Centre for Post Graduate Legal Studies, Galgotias School of Law, India

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In India, legal system is not equally accessible to all. Its complex procedure and adversary character, the high-priced lawyers, fleecing stamp fee, passive judiciary, the traditional rules of locus standi, the uncertainty generated because of the contradictory opinions of different High Courts, the inordinate delays in hearing of the cases even where life and personal liberty are at stake, frighten away the poor man who is incapable of protecting them through law courts because of economical, geographical, psychological, language barriers. It is a known fact that it is not just the nation’s disadvantage and poor who often feel helpless in the society, but millions of middle-class citizens faced with governmental and institutional wrongful conduct, which they do not like but cannot seem to change. Citizens often feel frustrated and overpowered due to gross violation of human rights. While people affected have no voice in the decision-making process. The unavailability of legal representation to the affected people frequently prevents their practical access to courts, denying them the only forum in which they might assert their basic rights against the institutions that control them. But now Public Interest Litigation has shown that - sometimes, something can be done, and that with the effective legal representation, citizen can often make their voices heard and help to shape the public policy decisions that affect their lives. The position of the Courts has, over the seventy years of its operational, undergone a change that has witnessed its emergence as an energetic institution playing an vigorous role in expanding the scope and content of personage and collective rights of society, in the civil and political spheres as well in the economic, social and cultural field. In India Public Interest Litigation emerged due to the need of a great amount of people who individually lacked the fiscal resources or operational capability to justify their objection and their exact interest through court. In India, the courts perform their power of judicial review trace to its alarm that the poorest of the deprived, depraved, the uneducated, women, children and other downtrodden have either no access to justice or had been denied righteousness. A new branch of lawsuit known as PIL was evolved with a view to deliver complete justice to the aforementioned classes of persons. The court involves and renders suitable directions when there has been a component of violation of Article 21 of Constitution of India or of Human Rights or where the lawsuit has been commences for the profit of the poor and the deprived that are powerless to come to the court due to some shortcomings.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 3, Issue 3, Page 995 - 1014


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