Lawstreet Journal

Is the Solicitor General Wrong to Call for PILs to be Scrapped?

Lawstreet Journal 8 May 2020 1:52pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Is the Solicitor General Wrong to Call for PILs to be Scrapped?

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is one of the Indian government’s senior-most legal officers, said in the Apex court on 3rd April 2020, “‘professional PIL shops’ must be locked down. This has created some concern in the country whether PILs (public interest litigations) is indeed detrimental to the entire country’.”

The solicitor general did not refrain from commenting on the “professional PIL shops” and also went on to comment on the petitioners and reportedly said, “none of the petitioners have even bothered to serve the poor and needy or the persons suffering from the virus and, therefore, can never be treated as ‘public-spirited citizens’.” He also showed his concerns regarding the wastage of the time of Government Offices in “preparing replies to frivolous PILs”.

A similar scenario was highlighted before the Apex Court on 15th April 2020, when the Solicitor General said, “These are self-employment generating petitions. This court should not entertain such petitions. I have serious reservations regarding the kind of petitions that are landing before the court during these times.”

It is valuable to narrate briefly how the concept of PILs came to Indian jurisprudence. The practice started when a lawyer by the name Pushpa Kapila Hingorani filed a habeas corpus petition on behalf of undertrial prisoners in Bihar before the Supreme Court in 1979. The case was heard by a bench headed by Justice P.N. Bhagwati and later came to be known as the Hussainara Khatoon case, 1979. The hearing on the matter resulted in the release of all the undertrials in Bihar and subsequently that of about 40,000 undertrials all over the country. This… Continue Reading...


Tagged: Supreme Court of India  
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