Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plays an important role in the civil justice system as it can achieve goals that could hardly be achieved through traditional private litigation.
For example, PIL offers a ladder to justice for disadvantaged sections of society, provides an avenue for enforcement of diffuse or collective rights, and enables civil society to not only spread awareness about human rights but also involve them in government decision-making.
This article will show that PIL can achieve these important goals with reference to the Indian experience. However, the Indian PIL experience shows us that it is critical to ensure that PIL does not become a facade to serve private interests, settle political scores or gain easy publicity.
Therefore, the challenge for states is to strike a balance between allowing legitimate public interest cases and discouraging frivolous ones.