The 'public interest' in India: contestation and confrontation before the Supreme Court

Sen, Sarbani (2015) The 'public interest' in India: contestation and confrontation before the Supreme Court. Diogenes, 60. ISSN 0392-1921

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The judicial decisions of the Supreme Court through which the court’s jurisdiction over Public
Interest Litigation (PIL) was constructed manifest extraordinary exercises of judicial authority.
These decisions primarily consist of the constitutional court’s expansion of fundamental rights on
the one hand, and procedural innovations to create better opportunities for disadvantaged groups to gain access to the legal system on the other. Through its decisions the court has emphasized increased access to the legal system in order to enable “the public” to exercise their liberties to mobilize and voice their needs, and to participate in making social choices and political decisions that affected those needs. While expanding on constitutional rights the court has tried to regenerate the idea of social and economic justice embedded in the constitution. PIL decisions also try to increase government accountability for enforcing constitutional guarantees and social welfare legislation, and to address state lawlessness and corruption. The court’s flexible interpretation of its powers under Art. 32(2) of the constitution has allowed it to carve out remedies that appear to significantly shift the line between adjudication and administration. The court has often entered into a position of positive intervention in administration through molding “appropriate” reliefs and supervising its implementation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Public Interest Litigation (PIL) | Supreme Court | India
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Arjun Dinesh
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 14:15
Last Modified: 18 May 2022 14:15
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