Public Interest Litigation became very popular in the recent times.It is otherwise known as "Test Litigation" , "Representative Action","Class Action".etc...
In the case of public interest litigation the traditional rule of Locus Standi to file a case is very much liberalized and thereby any person interest in the matter is allowed to file the case.With a view to bring the law for the srevice of the poor and oppressed.In India ,the Public Interest Litigation is basically concerned with the issues relating to infringement of legal and fundamental rights of poor.
The field of Public Interest Litigation has expanded itself so well as to include problems relating to Inhuman Prison conditions,Lagal Aid,Speedy Trial,Basic Needs,Human Dignity,Atrocities against Women,Environment Protection, Laboue Welfare Measures etc...
Meaning and Scope:
Public Interest Litigation means a Legal action aganist initiated in a court of law foe the enforcement of the right or interested of the general public or a group of people or an individual by any person or an association.The petitioner need not establish any direct interest or grivence in the matter.
In India,Public Interest Litigation has been used for various types of relief for undertrial prisoners in jails,to provide better living conditions to the inmates in Protective homes foe Women,for enforcement of Labour Welfare Laws,relief against custodial violence to the prisoners and also for Environmental Protection.The court to secure justice for the poor and the weaker section of the society.
The important object of Public Interest Litigation is to safeguard the Public interest,Human Rights and protect constitutional and legal rights of disadvantaged and weaker section of the society.
Thus,the dominant object is to ensure observance to the provisions of the constitution and trhe other laws.It is essentially a co-operative or collaborative effort on the part of petitioner,the state,public authority and the court to secure observance of the constitutional or legal rights,benefits and privilges conferred upon the weaker sections of the society.
Relating to Other Field:
Public Interest Litigation is relating to Human Rights,Labour,Prisoners and Environmental Protection.
The problems of violence of human rights has been bought to the notice of the Supreme court and the High Court by way of Public Interest Litigation in may occuasions and the courts were vigilant in granting appropriate reliefs.
Public Interest Litigation is brought before the court,not for the purpose of enforcing the right of one individual against another as happens in the case of ordinary litigation.But,it is intended to promote and vindicate public interest and the violation of constitutional or legal rights of large number of people who are poor,ignorant or socially or economically disadvantage position should not go unnoticed or unredreesed.The poor too have civil and political rights and the rule of law is meant for them also.
The only solution for making civil and political rights meaningful to the large sections of society would be to remake the material conditions and restructure the social and the economic order.To achieve this the public interst litigation plays a very important role.
Prisons and Prisoners are mostly governed by the Jail Manual and Prison Manual.The inhuman and horrible conditions of prisoners and prisons were brought to the notice of the courts by way of Public Interest Litigation and the courts had well reacted by issuing suitable directions to the concerned authorities for the improvement of the conditions
inside the prisons.
Enivornment means the nature surrounding an individual.The introduction by man into the environment of substance or energy is liable to cause hazards to human health and ecological system.The slow poisoning by the pollution of atmosohere casued by environmental pollution is regarded as violation of Act.21 of the Constitution.
Biological Park,Historical Monuments are polluted and are getting destroyed.The Public Interest Litigation helps us to give protection to these valuables of our country.The state has a duty to protect and improve environment.The citizen has a right to clean environment.In the case of environmental protection,the courts have been give appropriate directions to protecting the environment.
Public Interest Litigation has beenwell playing its role in the problems relating to labour and working class.
So Public Interest Litigation is very important role in India.