What are the essentials of PIL?

Justice Bhagwati in S.P. Gupta’s case pointed out the essentials of PIL, as under:

  • There must be a legal wrong caused to a person or to a determinate class of person, on whom burden is imposed in violation of law or without legal authority.
  • The wrong must arise from a violation of any constitutional or legal right.
  • The wronged person (or determinate group of persons) must be unable to approach the court for relief by reason of – 
    • Poverty, 
    • Helplessness; or 
    • Social or economic disability or 
    • Socially or economically disadvantaged person.
  • If the above conditions are satisfactory, then any member of the public can seek judicial relief for the above wrong.
  • But the court should be anxious to ensure that the person initiated the proceeding to acting bonafide to get redress for a public grievance and not to pursue personal gains or from malicious motives.
  • If the case is otherwise appropriate for PIL, then the court can act even on a letter addressed to it (SP Gupta Vs Union of India). 

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