Public interest Litigation is a mechanism which aims at ensuring justice to all citizens in a welfare State like ours. it seeks to assure all the person that access to justice is always available to them in case any of their fundamental rights violated . The main features of PIL may briefly stated as follows -
1) Since the aim of PIL is to protect the interest of public at large , it is not necessary that any right of the person filing a PIL Petition have been violated .
2) PIL writ is generally directed to protect the interest of those who are unable to move the court for the protection of their rights due to poverty, illiteracy or ignorance etc.
3) Any person or social service institution can file PIL writ for redressal of grievance of public in general through he may not have any personal interest in the case or any his right has been adversely affected .
4) In a welfare state , PIL is an effective instrument to make the executive authorities conscious about their public duties.
5) The Principle of liberalization of LOCUS STANDI rule applies only in case of Public Interest Litigation writs. It has no application in case of other writs where the petitioner has to prove that his personal legal right has been Violated.
6) In some cases the affected parties may address a letter directly to the supreme court (in matter involves violation of some fundamental rights) or to High Court & the court if satisfied that matter involves some public interest & deserves Court's attention, may treat the letter as a writ petition & and initiate the proceedings. This has been termed as Epistolary jurisdiction of the court. At times, the higher class Court may even. Suo motu initiate Judicial proceedings on the basis of some news item appearing in a news paper or magazine provided they feel that some public interest is involved in the matter reported.
7) The Court need not adopt adversal procedure in PIL cases.
8) PIL has been criticized on the ground that it has resulted in no merit because PIL writs are not admitted by the court unless they thoroughly scrutinized so as to ensure whether any public interest is really involved in the case or the PIL writ has been filed with some ulterior motive or purpose. For the purpose of preliminary scrutiny of PIL cases a public interest litigation cell has been set up in the Supreme Court &High courts.