What is the process to file a Public Interest Litigation(PIL)?

What is the process to file a PIL? Private organizations regularly delay the salaries of employees by 2-3 months and employees with salaries of 8-10 thousand per month are the worst affected as their life depends largely on this salary.

The companies should compensate these employees for the delay or be punished by law. How should I file a PIL against such companies?

Answers (1)

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A Public Interest Litigation is the power given to the public by the court. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) can be filed in any High Court or directly in the Supreme Court. A PIL can be filed in the courts for any matters of public interest ranging from polluted environments to road safety or constructional hazards.

PIL can be filed only in a case where “Public Interest” at large is affected. Merely because, only one person is effected by state inaction is not a round  for PIL. PIL can be filed against a State/ Central Govt., Municipal Authorities and not any private party. However, “Private party” can be included in the PIL as “Respondent”, after making concerned state authority, a party. For example- if there is a Private factory in Delhi, which is causing pollution, then people living nearly, or any other person can file a PIL against the Government of Delhi, Pollution Control Board, and against the private factory. However, a PIL cannot be filed against the Private party alone.

There are some of the possible areas where the PIL can be filed. 

a) Where, a factory/ industry unit is causing air pollution, and people nearby are getting affected.

b) Where, in an area/ street there are no street lights causing inconvenience to commuters.

c) Where some “Banquet Hall” plays a loud music, in the night causing noise pollution.

d) Where some construction company is cutting down trees causing environmental pollution.

e) Where poor people are affected because of state government’s arbitrary decision to impose heavy “Tax”.

f) For directing the Police/ Jail authorities to take appropriate decisions in regards to jail reforms, such as segregation of convicts, delay in trial, before the court on remand dates.

g) For abolishing child labor and bonded labor.

h) Where rights of working women are affected by sexual harassment.

i) For keeping a check on corruption and crime involving holders of high political officer.

j) For maintaining Roads, Sewer etc in a good condition.

k) For removal of Big Hoarding and Signboards from the busy road to avoid traffic problems.

In view of the aforesaid, we are of an opinion that you cannot file a PIL against the company for regulating the salary of the worker because a PIL can be filed only in case where the public is affected at large.

With respect to your other query, procedure of a PIL is enumerated as under:

Procedure to file a Public Interest Litigation:

A "Public Interest Litigation", is filed in the same manner, as a writ petition is filed.

In the High Court:

If a Public Interest Litigation is filed in a High court, then two (2) copies of the petition have to be filed. Also, an advance copy of the petition has to be served for each respondent, i.e. the opposite party and this proof of service has to be affixed on the petition.

In the Supreme Court:

If a Public Interest Litigation is filed in the Supreme court, then (4) + (1), i.e. 5 sets of petition are to be filed and the opposite party is served the copy only when notice is issued.

Court Fees: A Court fee of Rs. 50, per respondent (i.e. for each number of opposite party, court fees of Rs. 50)  has to be affixed on the petition.


Proceedings in the PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION commences and is carried on in the same manner, as other cases.

After filing of replies by the opposite party and rejoinder by the petitioner the final hearing takes place and the judge gives his final decision.

Kindly contact us for any further details and action.

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