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PIL in Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh

December 26, 2017
 
 
PIL in High Court Chandigarh
 
PIL as the name suggests litigation in the interest of general public. It can be a breach of public duty , fundamental rights or violation of constitutional provisions, general environmental issue, civic amenities , social issues, health & safety , peace and order in the state, social justice, manifestly gross injustice on society, corruption, government policy and order and most important any action affecting interest of society at large.
 
Public Interest Litigation in Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh has to be filed in compliance with Maintainability of Public Interest Litigation Rules, 2010 as seen in Vol V Ch-1-A(c). For your ready reference, check the rules below:
 
(i) These Rules shall be called as MAINTAINBILITY OF PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION RULES, 2010.
(ii) These Rules shall come into force with effect from the date of approval by the Full Court.
 
2. No Public Interest Litigation shall be entertained by the Registry unless the petitioner(s) has specifically disclosed his credentials and his direct or indirect personal motive or interest involved in the case, if any, by way of an affidavit.
 
3. Every Public Interest Litigation shall be separately numbered and categorized.
 
4. All the Public Interest Litigations shall be listed before a Division Bench by the orders of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
 
5. The Bench, wherever it appears so desirable, may ask the petitioner to deposit an appropriate amount with the Registry to be paid as compensation/costs to the person/institution who may be forced to contest the litigation, which is ultimately found to be vexatious, frivolous or mala fide.
 
6. Ordinarily, the PIL may be entertained on any subject of vital public importance, such as:
(a) Bonded Labour matters. (b) Neglected Children. (c) Petitions from riot victims. (d) Petitions complaining of harassment or torture of persons belonging Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Classes by the others or by the police. (e) Petitioner pertaining to environmental pollution, disturbance of ecological balance, forest and wild life. (f) Petitioners complaining violation of human rights.
 
7. The Registry shall be entitled to verify the antecedents of a person, society or an association who involves the jurisdiction of the High Court on the cause of public interest. Where the Registry has any doubt on such antecedents, an office note to this effect shall be put up, except on the petitions which are received by post.
 
8. The Public Interest Petitions received through post shall not be entertained except in the following cases:- (i) Petitions sent by prisoners and detenues; (ii) Petitions complaining violation of human rights; (iii) Petitions seeking a writ in the nature of habeas corpus; (iv) Petitions with a cause of such nature that it may require suomotu proceedings by this Court in ‘Public interest’; (v) Petitions by finally or physically disabled persons, minors and/or oppressed sections of Society. The petitions falling in this category may be sent to the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority concerned, who, on satisfaction regarding genuineness of the petitioner, may provide adequate legal aid including a counsel to the victim.
 
9. All the suo-motu petitions initiated by the High Court shall be put up before the Chief Justice for enlisting the same before an appropriate Bench as per roster within three days.
 
History- The first PIL was filed nearly 40 years ago i.e. 1976 Mumbai Kamgar Sabha vs. M/s Abdullah Faizulbhai & ors. decided by none other than Justice Krishna Iyer and later evolved PIL to a bigger extent.
 
The website betterindia has rightly cover the top 5 known PIL's of the country so I don't have to do the mining again. See the list:
1 Vishaka vs. Rajasthan
2 Javed vs. Haryana
3 Hussainara Khatoon vs. Bihar
4. MC Mehta vs. UOI
5 Parmanand Katara vs. UOI
 
Want to know about these cases as well, here's the link. The other compilations by websites regarding most famous and path breaking PIL's for the country can also be found on thequint.com, lawyered.in, lawnn.com, dailyo.in, and scoopwhoop.
 
Well, this was for High Courts in India, to file PIL in Supreme Court you can read the guidelines here.
 
PIL is moreover a judicial mechanism to protect interest of public at large to an extent that even private parties can file it. What to say even courts can suo motu cognisance and make any issue a PIL.
 
Power Struggle- Deciding PIL's have never remained easy for courts and the legislature tries to restrict judicial reach of courts in matters related to public interest. We are still progressing with PIL concept and evolving with each case and reaching common ground wherever possible with legislature and executive. After all the pillars of democracy need to work in unison in benefit of public.
 
Darker side- In the garb of PIL's various private parties try to seek court indulgence in matters of their personal interest which is heavily frowned by courts and as a result heavy costs are imposed. Otherwise genuine cases are always welcome. The party must ensure he doesn't derive any interest out of the case filed.
 
Registries ensure strict compliance towards these matters and you can easily find objections in Punjab and Haryana while filing PIL's. You can take help of various NGO's who can help you file PIL. Here's the list of a few:
 
1 PIL in Punjab and Haryana High Court seeks setting up of Lokayukta in Chandigarh.
2 PIL against Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) to maintain electronic records of candidates while interview to ensure transparency.
3 PIL after Pradhyumn murder of Ryan International School to devise safety standard in Schools.
4 PIL on Ram Rahim trial where instructions were sought regarding security arrangements in wake of proceedings held at Panchkula. 
5 Latest PIL, 4 days ago against Police Torture seeking enforcement of measures to prevent torture in Jails and Police stations 
 
The most recent PIL which I witnessed was of Baba Ram Rahim and drew large flood of crowds to the court. Suddenly, Panchkula became a battle ground. In case you have any questions, please share your thoughts below in the comment section. . 

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