How can I file PIL on environmental issues


Question From: Civil Law

What is the procedure to file PIL? What kind of expenditure is expected in a PIL against central government for environmental related issues?

Any citizen of India can file Public interest litigation either before The supreme court of High court. There is same procedure for filing PIL in both courts. Article 32 of Indian constitution provides a fundamental right to every citizen to file writ or other proceeding before the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights conferred in part 3 of the of the constitution. 

Filing of writ for the enforcement of fundamental right is also a fundamental right so court cannot entertain it it in ordinary manner.Article 21 of the constitution recognises clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right. M C Mehta vs Union of India AIR 1999.

For the filing of PIL you have to establish before the court that cause of action is related with large public interest and you have locus standi to bring this cause of action before the court by way of PIL. No formalities are required except to give a notice to the concerned department of the Government before filing of PIL. 

You can send a letter to the Chief Justice of India or Chief Justice of the High Court with details, if court finds that there is a issue related with large public interest then court can take your letter as a PIL (H A Khatoon vs State of Bihar, Dhirendra Chamoli vs Union of India).

Supreme Court of India issued a guidelines on 01-12-1988 regarding PIL as Petitions pertaining to environmental pollution, disturbance of ecological balance, drugs, food adulteration, maintenance of heritage and culture, antiques, forest and wild life and other matters of public importance will ordinarily be entertained as Public Interest Litigation.

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