INTERVIEW WITH MR. PRAVEEN PAREKH: LAW AND ETHICS; UTILITY OF PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION AND MISUSE

Transcript by:

Miss Vijaylaxmi Raju(News Editor)

Interviewed by:

Mr Vaibhav Dwivedi(Interview Editor)


Public Interest Litigation, a litigation filed in the court of law for the protection of public interest. The Court of Law considers the case when it is challenged by an individual unless when there is a direct infringement. After the year of 1980, The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India allowed the purpose of filing the litigation. Certain resolutions were passed by Central and State Governments. Many opposed the Public Interest Litigation and Few stated that it was not the matter of the Courtroom.

The Public Interest Litigation has become an action in the Supreme Court where the Supreme Court Judgments will bind all over India and the High Court Judgments has certain limitations which binds all over the country.

A large number of people approaching the Supreme Court for the sake of Public Interest Litigation which is elucidated in the Indian Constitution

➔ ARTICLE 32: The Supreme Court

➔ ARTICLE 226: The High Court

There are also various Civil, Criminal and Constitutional issues which are involved in the filing of Public Interest Litigation. The court does not pave the way for Misuse of Public Interest Litigation. If a party approaching the court for filing the Public Interest Litigation against misuse, the court shall not grant the order.

To file a Public Interest Litigation, the party to file must be genuinely interested in achieving good for the community. The court of law can grant PIL when there is a scope for the society as a whole and not to the individual.

If a person who is filing the Public Interest Litigation is not of a bonafide, has an intention to exploit the other party and in such cases, the court shall not grant the litigation.

There are no mandatory conditions applied for the person filing the Public Interest Litigation, It can also be granted in the absence of a petitioner. If the Court reads something relating to PIL in a magazine or journal and finds that the matter is of no good and would take up a PIL for the subject matter contained, then it would not be objected to or opposed in any manner.

The court can assign Advocates and other people to search, find or to relate something as to pass the Public Interest Litigation but not as an Order or Judgment. With regard to some cases, the Court can issue a notice or display it on the newspaper whereby stating that they will pass the Public Interest Litigation.

In the present scenario, the cases are being put on the newspaper and the court thereby calls it for the issue of Public Interest Litigation and the lawyers on not knowing the relevant facts, and in such cases, a person may be called upon who can explain the relevance of the whole subject matter of it. Once the report is submitted, the court hears both the side and delivers the Judgment.

A number of Judgments have been published and few do not approach and thereby settle the dispute among them with the legal professionals.

Firstly, It is expensive as the poor cannot approach the court.

Secondly, The community suffering cannot approach the Supreme Court and there are a larger number of Judgments which have been put up and it was difficult during the old days and at present, it is published in the newspapers as to create a notification to the public as to how it is being decided.

Lastly, Approaching the court for the infringement on which the court has the power of deciding the case on its own motion (Suo Moto).

Therefore, it is important that the Public Interest Litigation should not be misused and it shall be made in the use of the Public Interest Litigation and not in the Private Interest Litigation. And for a few people, it is considered as the ‘Paisa Interest Litigation’. A statement can be made only when there is a genuine and not in the false reference.

QUESTIONNAIRE:

1. The Solicitor General of India, has recently used phrases like, ‘Professional PIL Shops and Self Employment Generating Petitions’ in context of seemingly frivolous PILs filed in the Supreme Court. How do you see a top law officer of the country using phrases like this?

Is he justified in using them in view of the present situations?

If the statement is true, then the phrases can be used and shall be made in a justified manner. PIL cannot be misused as there are a larger number of judgments pronounced. He can use the phrase only when there is misuse of PILs being filed. This applies only in a condition when the PILs are misused and on the basis of money or something to be achieved in a wrong manner.

2. Justice Deepak Gupta, who recently retired from the Supreme Court also expressed concerns over the quality of PILs being filed with the SC, in particular during this unprecedented crisis?

How do you see this?

It is not true in all the cases and the court cannot entertain when there is no sufficient cause, the statement made by Justice Deepak Gupta is true considerably and there should not be any misuse of PILs. Without knowing any relevance of the case, there can be no PILs filed. Just because a PIL is filed, it cannot be entertained and issued in such a manner.

3. Is the parliamentary privileges diluting the very essence of the rule of law?

No, it lies on the advantage and disadvantage of the court. It needs protection and there can be no comparison. When it is good, it can be issued and during misuse, it has a bad power. The courts have power to struck down the validity of the constitution under article 32 & 226. Laws are made by parliament and it can be told that there is competence and making of laws differ between centre and states. It is open to the High Court and Supreme Court to strike down such laws and a Citizen holds no right to make laws.

4. Extendability of the right to silence in civil law?

Every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression and there are restrictions imposed on it, contrary to law. If there is a law which is compelled to speak, then there should not be a right of silence maintained. The court has the discretion in deciding the right.

5. Can the arbitration council of India slowly take away the power of courts?

As far as Arbitration is concerned, there is an Act which governs arbitration in India by consent of the parties. The award can be challenged by the parties in the courts by certain limitations. It is by consent and it is open to parties to appoint the arbitrators of their choice. After the amendments of the arbitration act, it is a challenge and there are certain limitations which are involved with the act and thereby accepting the award, it can be made into consideration.

6. In case, the courts still have a command over the arbitration proceeding, they won’t defeat it for the entire purpose?

With regard to arbitration, it cannot be the final command. It is something in which the parliament quoted the reasons in which the court can strike the award and there should be a possibility explained in which there is a challenge made to an award.

7. How do you think a balance could be struck in the case?

There is a balance created by the law itself. In the award, there are limited grounds and when someone challenges it, there can be a strike down. An explicit disposal of matters are taken and a large number of arbitration cases are pending.

8. Do you think that the present COVID-19 situation with respect to the migrants, would attract international human rights laws?

It has nothing to do with COVID-19 and law remains the same when the society is in a large number, it has no difference to it.

9. Is there a significant differentiation made between the rights of internal and international migrants?

It has the rights which acts in the place. Indians have the fundamental rights to follow. When a foreigner enters India,

➔ Has come lawfully

➔ The purpose of entry is legal

➔ Have they come to misuse or violate anything?

When the reason is for a wrong purpose, the government has the right to take legal action against them. When an offence is committed, the court has the discretion to take action. They do not have the same right as the Indians have.

10. What mechanism would you suggest for the current legal education system to inculcate in the students, better legal professional ethics?

When the students learn and join a law firm they should know

➔ Learning

➔ Based on observation

➔ Learn from mistakes


CONCLUSION:

Therefore, Public Interest Litigation plays a vital role in the administration of Justice. It cannot be misled or misused against the community. The litigation cannot be made used as Private Interest Litigation or Paisa Interest Litigation. The sole purpose of filing the PIL is to achieve good for the community, as to bring a qualitative analysis of Judgment in a fair manner.

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