P.I.L stands for public interest litigation. By its name it suggests that it is something in the interest of general public. If anything goes wrong whatsoever may be the reason behind it, but public at large is being affected by its happening then anyone can file a P.I.L to bring that matter into focus and accordingly court decides in the welfare of public. The provision of P.I.L is not there in our constitution but it has been introduced by honourable supreme court.
Now question arises that in which court one can file a P.I.L? So the answer is a P.I.L cannot be filed in any court, it can only be filed either in high court or in supreme court. If anyone files P.I.L in High court then it needs to be filed under sec 226 and if it is filed in supreme court then it should be filed under sec 32.
The major reason for introducing the concept of P.I.L was in the interest of public so that nothing goes wrong unintentionally which turns against the public. Now according to today’s circumstances nobody wants to get involved in litigation as every one of us is aware of the expenses it costs and such a long duration it takes to finish a case so keeping these things in mind court decided to keep the expenses of filing a P.I.L upto its minimum so as not to put burden on the petitioner and also it tries to finish the case as soon as possible if the matter is of grave importance. This was all so that no one should back out from taking such a step of filing P.I.L which ultimately would lead to public profit.
However there are many cases in which this provision has been misused as well, in such cases where court thinks that anyone has filed P.I.L for his/her own personal profit and not for public interest and he/she has wasted court’s valuable time then court can put fine on that. If there is use of anything then people don’t hesitate to misuse the same also.
P.I.L can be filed by a particular person or by any organisation also. He/she needs to pay the court fee which is according to the number of respondents and fee of the lawyer if appointed. If the petitioner is capable of presenting the case himself/herself then he/she can do so if he/she has legal knowledge then they don’t need to pay to the lawyer.
Moreover P.I.L has given relief to the public in various fields like child labour, women empowerment, education, politics, enforcement of fundamental rights, etc.