Can Politicians file PIL ?


WHAT HAPPENED ? Calcutta High Court ordered to re-institute criminal cases against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election agent, S.K. Supian in a PIL.


CAUSE TITLE : STATE OF WEST BENGAL v. DEEPAK MISRA


What was the criminal case against Mr. Supian was all about ? It was an case in connection with the Nandigram protests against land acquisition.


Nandigram protest ??? It was protests over the alleged improper acquisition of land by the state to create a special economic zone (SEZ) in Nandigram.


Okie ! Now what Mr. Supian did ? Mr. Supian had challenged the order passed by the Calcutta High Court ordering re-institution of criminal case against him.


What was his contention ?

  • He had contended that he was not made a party in the PILs.

  • He said the reinstitution of the criminal cases has impaired his ability to discharge his functions as an election agent under the Representation of the People Act 1951.

  • PIL was filled were initiated by persons belonging to a political party for political motive. The Public Interest Litigations should not, therefore, have been entertained.

WHAT SUPREME COURT SAID ???? The Supreme Court has said judges need not read political motives or prejudice into a PIL petition merely because the person who filed it is a politician.


POINT TO NOTE | Persons with political affiliations are as much entitled to file a public interest litigation as any other person.


EXAMINATION IN PIL | It is true that the court is required to examine whether a litigation is really in public interest or to advance some other interest in the garb of public interest, at the same time, a Public Interest Litigation [PIL] cannot be thrown out only because the petitioner belongs to a rival political party.


RULLING | Politicians entitled to file PILs – Supreme Court


CASE HIGHLIGHT | ‘Whether the litigation is bona fide or not has to be examined by court on a case-to-case basis’


WHAT IS PIL ? Public interest litigation (PIL) refers to litigation undertaken to secure public interest and demonstrates the availability of justice to socially-disadvantaged parties and was introduced by Justice P. N. Bhagwati.


It is a relaxation on the traditional rule of locus standi.


RELATED LEGAL PROVISIONS | CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Article 32 and 226



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