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Public Interest Litigation

Public interest litigation

"Public interest Litigation", in simple words, means, litigation filed in a court of law, for the protection of "Public Interest", such as pollution, Terrorism, Road safety, constructional hazards etc.

Public interest litigation is not defined in any statute or in any act. It has been interpreted by judges to consider the intent of public at large. Although, the main and only focus of such litigation is only "Public Interest" there are various areas where a Public Interest Litigation can be filed. For e.g.

  • Violation of basic human rights of the poor
  • Content or conduct of government policy
  • Compel municipal authorities to perform a public duty.
  • Violation of religious rights or other basic fundamental rights.

When can a public interest litigation be filed?

A public interest litigation can be filed only in a case where "Public Interest" at large is effected. Merely because, only one person is effected by state inaction is not a ground for Public interest litigation

These are some of the possible areas where a PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION can be filed.

  • Where a factory / industrial unit is causing air pollution, and people nearly are getting effected.
  • Where, in an area / street there are no street lights, causing inconvenience to commuters
  • .Where some "Banquet Hall" plays a loud music, in night causing noise pollution.
  • Where some construction company is cutting down trees, causing environmental pollution.
  • Where poor people, are affected, because of state government's arbitrary decision to impose heavy "tax".
  • For directing the police / Jail authorities to take appropriate decisions in regards to jail reforms, such as segregation of convicts, delay in trial, production of under trial before the court on remand dates.
  • For abolishing child labor, and bonded labor .
  • Where rights of working women are affected by sexual harassment.
  • For keeping a check on corruption and crime involving holders of high political officer.
  • For maintaining Roads, Sewer etc in good conditions.
  • For removal of Big Hoarding and signboard from the busy road to avoid traffic problem.
  • Recently a Public Interest Litigation has been filed, for directing the "Delhi Traffic Police" to stop the method of sending challans to address by post, as it is being misused.

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