SC objects to frivolous PIL petitions

Tags: National News

The Supreme Court has urged courts to be cautious while examining the locus standi in PILs to ensure that frivolous or private interests are not presented as genuine claims.

  • Supreme Court Justice B.R. Gavai and Hima Kohli initially imposed a fine of Rs 18 lakh on the plaintiff, i.e. Rs 1 lakh for each minute of the total 18-minute hearing.

  • However, the court later, in its order, reduced the amount to ₹ 2 lakh at the request of the plaintiff's counsel.

  • The bench criticised the highly derogatory practice of filing frivolous petitions wasting valuable time of the judiciary.

  • Court said this time can otherwise be utilised for addressing genuine concerns.

  • The petition alleges illegal excavation and construction work at the famous Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri.

  • What is Public Interest Litigation (PIL)?

  • Public interest litigation is the use of law to advance human rights and equality or to raise issues of wider public concern.

  • It was initiated by Justice PN Bhagwati in 1979.

  • The first reported case of PIL was Hussainara Khatoon vs. State of Bihar (1979).

  • This is in line with the principles enshrined in Article 39A [a] of the Constitution to protect speedy social justice with the help of law.

  • Filing of PIL

  • Any citizen can raise a public matter in the court by filing a petition-

  1. Under Art 32 of the Indian Constitution, in the Supreme Court

  2. Under Art 226 of the Indian Constitution, in the High Court

  3. Under section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in a Magistrate’s Court

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