STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Lawyers forgetting the concept of PIL, says Supreme Court

Since the beginning of the lockdown, the apex court is conducting hearing through video-conferencing and a chunk of its time has been devoted to hearing PILs on varied issues.

Published: 01st May 2020 01:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2020 01:01 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India (File photo | PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed its discontent with a slew of PILs seeking wide-ranging directions to the Centre on various issues involving the nationwide lockdown. The top court said the whole concept of the PIL has been lost.

A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and B.R. Gavai said the concept of the PIL has been forgotten, as lawyers keep filing petitions on "what they feel is possible". "This is not public interest litigation."

The observation from the top court came on a clutch of PILs citing gaps in the RBI circular issued on March 27, granting a three-month moratorium on repayment of term loans by borrowers, which meant they would not have to pay loan EMI installments during the moratorium period.

The PILs were junked by the bench, saying there is no aggrieved party before it. Besides, how would the lawyer justify that it was a bad scheme, it asked.

The court also noted that none of the lawyers represented the actual borrower. "How can you file Article 32 petition? Are you an aggrieved party in this petition?" queried Justice Kaul.

The lawyer replied the scheme will affect everyone. "How are you saying you are an affected party?" Justice Kaul repeated his query.

Another petitioner argued that the banks were not implementing the RBI's March 27 circular on EMI moratorium and many were aggrieved. The bench said "we direct the Reserve Bank of India to ensure implementation of the Circular on March 27, in its letter and spirit."

In a separate PIL, a petitioner sought direction from the top court to universalize the public distribution system and provide ration to those who do not have ration cards. The top court said it has already asked the Centre to examine the matter.

In 1986, the then Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati introduced PIL to the Indian judicial system. The original idea was to provide access to justice to the marginalized citizens. It allowed an individual or NGO to approach the top court seeking protection of rights of the downtrodden. But by the mid-1990s a flurry of high-profile cases were filed using the PIL instrument.

Since the beginning of the lockdown, the apex court is conducting hearing through video-conferencing and a chunk of its time has been devoted to hearing PILs on varied issues -- free treatment and free medical tests for coronavirus, medical issues connected with treatment, economy, finance and wages for migrant workers -- during the lockdown.

In many cases, the apex court has asked the Centre to consider the suggestions made in the PILs.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp