Online PIL in Supreme Court

By Team Legal Helpline India, October 27, 2020

It is now possible to file online PIL in Supreme Court. The procedure and the related issues have been explained in details in this write up by our expert.

As we know PIL stands for public interest litigation which means that the affected person is not required to approach the court and any public spirited person can approach the court on his behalf. The concept of PIL was recognized by the Supreme Court of India in 1983 in the famous case of Hussainiara Khatoon who was languishing in jail and a public spirited advocate Priya Hingorani filed a petition on her behalf in Supreme Court. The Supreme Court accepted the said petition and ordered in favour of the prisoner.

Through time PIL has assumed a very important role in checking the violation of the Constitutional mandate and Supreme Court has come down to rectify such violations as and when approached fairly. The subjects of PIL vary from social and legal issues to environmental issues. Nowadays Supreme Court has also dealt with the subjects of elections, appointments on various Constitutional posts, and horse-trading of MLAs in various state assemblies. The subject of PIL has further widened with the advancement of social media and IT having far-reaching effects. The most notable of them is the quashing of Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act by Supreme Court being arbitrary and against the personal freedom of a human being.

Online PIL in Supreme Court has further widened the scope and effectiveness of the PIL under the Indian legal system. It was then established that any intimation to the court even through a post card can be converted into a PIL. The court can also take up the matter from newspaper reports or information from any other source which is termed as “Suo Motto”. There are number of such instances when the court has initiated action in public interest on the basis of newspaper reports, information sent by some public spirited citizen or even a victim or sufferer. Online PIL in Supreme Court is a step ahead in this direction and will certainly strengthen the Indian legal system and fetch the desired results of a vibrant democracy.

For facilitating online PIL in Supreme Court, the Supreme Court has made elaborate arrangements both online and offline. Any information, petition sent to the Supreme Court on its mail or through post or by any means is collected and assigned to a Registrar specially designated for the purpose. The Registrar first takes a view of the content of the same and also can ask the person sending the content about documents or even ask the person to send the same in proper format. The format for the PIL in Supreme Court is prescribed and displayed on the website of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has also accepted the information sent to it by any person or organization in some cases besides taking suo motto cognizance of the newspaper reports. This has made the enforcement of the Indian Constitution more wider and inclusive now.

After the online PIL in Supreme Court is filed before the Registry of the Supreme Court, the same is checked by the staff there which is called “scrutiny”. All shortcomings such as typing errors, page numbering errors, annexure marking errors are pointed out and the person filing the online PIL in Supreme Court is asked to rectify the same. Once the defects are rectified in the online PIL in Supreme Court, the same is numbered and is ordered to be listed before the Supreme Court of hearing.

The Supreme Court vide its notification which is based on the full court decision dated 9/8/1993 & 1/12/1998 has mandated various categories and heads under which a PIL can be enterained. The said heads are broadly listed as under:

  • Bonded Labour matters.
  • Neglected Children.
  • Non-payment of minimum wages to workers and exploitation of casual
  • workers and complaints of violation of Labour Laws (except in individual
  • cases).
  • Petitions from jails complaining of harassment, for (pre-mature release)
  • and seeking release after having completed 14 years in jail, death in jail,
  • transfer, release on personal bond, speedy trial as a fundamental right.
  • Petitions against police for refusing to register a case, harassment by police
  • and death in police custody.
  • Petitions against atrocities on women, in particular harassment of bride, bride burning, rape, murder, kidnapping etc.
  • Petitions complaining of harassment or torture of villagers by co- villagers or
  • by police from persons belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes and
  • economically backward classes.
  • Petitions pertaining to environmental pollution, disturbance of ecological
  • balance, drugs, food adulteration, maintenance of heritage and culture, antiques,
  • forest and wildlife and other matters of public importance.
  • Petitions from riot -victims.
  • Family Pension.
MATTERS NOT COVERED UNDER PIL IN SUPREME COURT:

Besides the personal cases or any case being filed for the benefit of a particular person, the following categories of cases are not to be treated as PIL in Supreme Court of India:

  • Landlord-Tenant matters
  • Service matter and those pertaining to Pension and Gratuity
  • Complaints against Central/ State Government Departments and Local Bodies
  • except those relating to item Nos. (1) to (10) above
  • Admission to medical and other educational institution
  • Petitions for early hearing of cases pending in High Courts and Subordinate
  • Courts

TIPS ON FILING ONLINE PIL IN SUPREME COURT:

  • The filing of online PIL in Supreme Court can be done through the link given at the website of Supreme Court- https://main.sci.gov.in/efiling.
  • Online PIL in Supreme Court of India should be in the format prescribed for a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India as given on the website of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The Online PIL in Supreme Court of India should be neatly typed in double space on white A4 paper then duly signed.
  • All annexures to the Online PIL in Supreme Court of India should be chronologically arranged and marked and typed in double space.
  • The requisite court fees should also be paid on the online PIL in Supreme Court of India.
  • Affidavit of the petitioner duly sworn is required to be filed along with the online PIL in Supreme Court of India.
  • A court fee of Rs.500 per petitioner is to be attached for civil matters and no fees is to be paid in the criminal writ petition.
  • Index as per the format prescribed is to be filed.
  • Cover page.
  • Any application to be filed, Rs.120/- per application.
  • Memo of Appearance.
  • An application seeking permission to appear and argue in person can be filed along with the court fees of Rs-120/-.

Watch a video explaining online PIL in Supreme Court

FORMAT OF PIL

SYNOPSIS AND LIST OF DATES ( Give in brief the crux of the PIL and all important list of dates chronologically).

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.  

IN THE MATTER OF             …..Petitioner

versus

XYZ                                        ….Respondents

PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 32  OF THE CONSTITUTION OF

INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT IN THE NATURE OF MANDAMUS/ CERTIORARI/ HAEAS CORPUS/QUO WARRANTO/PROHIBITION 

To

Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India and His Lordship’s Companion

Justices of the Supreme Court of India. The Humble petition of the Petitioner

abovenamed.

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH :

1. Facts of the case

2. Question(s) of Law

3. Grounds

4. Averment:-

That the present petitioner has not filed any other petition in any

High Court or the Supreme Court of India on the subject matter of

the present petition.

 PRAYER

In the above premises, it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased:

(i) ………….

(ii) to pass such other orders and further orders as may be deemed

necessary on the facts and in the circumstances of the case.

FOR WHICH ACT OF KINDNESS, THE PETITIONER SHALL

AS INDUTY BOUND, EVER PRAY.

FILED BY:

PETITIONER-IN-PERSON

_________________________________________________________________

ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

Sl. No. PARTICULARS PAGES

_________________________________________________________________

1. Synopsis and List of Dates

INDEX

2. Writ Petition alongwith Affidavit

in support

3. Annexures

4. Application if any

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.  

 …..Petitioner

Versus

 ……Respondent

 P A P E R – B O O K

 FOR INDEX KINDLY SEE INSIDE

 FILED BY:

 (ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER/

 PETITIONER-IN-PERSON)

Filed on

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