Are you someone who is disappointed with the decisions of government and the policies it is implementing? Do you think, the decisions which taken by Government are causing corruption in place, or violation of Fundamental Rights, or social injustice, etc. Are you interested in changing these things and fix the system through law?

If all your answer of the above questions is yes then you can file Public Interest Litigation (PIL). In today’s world, many cases of PIL are being filed. Public interest litigation is most commonly used to challenge the decisions of public authorities by judicial review.

What is meant by PIL?

‘Any act for the benefit of the public is public interest’. The interest of the public can be seen in many acts such as pollution, Terrorism, Road safety, constructional hazards, etc. All these types of acts are for the public interest, it should not be the interest for any particular person.

Public Interest litigation, the phrase itself says that this litigation is for the interest of public, which can be filed in any Court of law at the Supreme level or at a higher level of authority by any public person.

PIL is not defined in any Act or any statue, but it has been interpreted by the different Judges to consider the intention of the public. This is same as a writ petition, which is the file in High Court under Article 226 and in Supreme Court under Article 32, just as the same manner as Writ Petition filed. There are also some fees for this purpose and its hearing proceeding the same as just like other cases.

Public interest litigation is a legal action seeking for the benefit of the disadvantaged groups of minority or individuals or raising public issues. It is a method of using law deliberately to effect social change. PIL is a petition which is filed by an individual or citizen groups or a non-government organization in the court pursuing justice on a problem which has a broader public interest.

Some various areas where PIL can be filed are:

  1. Violation of basic human rights.
  2. Content or conduct of Government policy.
  3. Compel municipal authorities to perform a public duty.
  4. Violation of religious rights or other basic Fundamental Rights.

These are some of the area where any Public Interest Litigation can be filed against State/Central Govt., Municipal Authorities, and not any private party. However, as a respondent private party can be included in this after making concern state authority.

Who can file a PIL?

Any Indian citizen can file PIL in Higher & Supreme authority. The only condition for filing the PIL is that it should be a significant profit /interest of the public and not for the private/personal gain of any person. Meaning thereby any PIL whoever is filing should be only and only in for the benefit of peoples. If only one person is getting affected by any act then that is not a ground of filing PIL.

When public interest is affecting at large then this can be filed but when only one single person is affected than that cannot be a ground for filing the petition of PIL.

Where are PILs filed?

PILs can be filed in the High Court or the Supreme Court.


The main and the foremost reason for filing the PIL is that since the larger public is being affected therefore through one case the matter can be resolved. Other reasons are:

  1. To safeguard the interest of public from Government authorities.
  2. To gain knowledge on PILs procedure.
  3. To know the categories involved in PIL.
  4. To obtain knowledge on its pros and cons.
  5. To know about the PILs nature in detail.


The filings of PILs are increasing in number as there are a number of incidents which curtails or hurts the feeling of people as well as their rights as the citizens of the country. Hence, the people who are disrespecting their Government roles or abusing their duties will be punished accordingly and the people who deserved their interest/rights will be awarded justice.


(Associate in Law Offices of Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates)

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