1) What is PIL ?

        The expression 'Litigation' means a legal action including therein, initiated in a court of law with the purpose of enforcing a right or seeking a remedy. The word 'Public Interest' means an act beneficial to public in general.

     Public Interest Litigation means Welfare of people in general. It includes all those things in which some economic, social, legal interest of the people in general or community is involved and which affect the legal rights or liabilities of person.

       The concept of 'PIL' in modern society is related to social, economic, political and ideological causes being faced by the society and various types of people belonging to poor, illiterate weaker sections of the society who have no access to justice because of their limited resources and lack of legal and other concerned competency.

 2) Definition of Public Interest : 

        According to Shrouds Judicial Dictionary Public Interest : a matter of public on general interest "does not mean that which is interesting as gratifying curiosity or a love of information on amusement but that in which a class of community have a pecuniary interest, or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.

 3) Main Characteristics of Public Interest Litigation (PIL)


4) Matters which cannot be taken under PIL  :

           The Supreme Court has issued guidelines under which following matters are not coming within purview of PIL jurisdiction. Therefore no PIL petition in these cases shall be entertained by the Courts

(1) Disputes​ between Tenant and Landlord

(2) Petitions relating to service matters, pension, gratuity etc.

(3) Petitions for early hearing of cases pending in courts.

(4) Matters pertaining to admission to the Medical, Engineering or other educational institutions.

(5) Matters other than those mentioned above for which PIL writ may be filed in dispute with any Government Department of the State or the Union.



See also... 

1) Difference between Representative Suit and Private Interest Litigation

2) Difference between Representative Suit and Private Interest Litigation

3) Application for Legal Aid and Entitlement Criteria

4) Powers of Lok Adalats or Permanent Adalat

5) Types of contempt of courts

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