Tamil Nadu

Frivolous litigations make it a bad pill


While PILs have led to several positive changes, there have been numerous instances where people have approached courts for the sake of publicity or with frivolous pleas. The menace has even prompted the Supreme Court and various High Courts to dismiss frivolous petitions and imposition of heavy costs on such litigators.

Both the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court have also laid down guidelines for filing PIL petitions, points out senior lawyer P. Wilson. “The courts are flooded with unnecessary PILs which do not deserve to be even heard. People file such frivolous litigations to attract the attention of the media defeating the very scope of the concept of a PIL,” he charges.

There have been instances where civil disputes were camouflaged as public issues. “Some people do this with an agenda to prevent genuine petitions from being accepted by the court,” alleges activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy adding that this amounted to circumventing the judicial process.

Giving a different perspective, well-known lawyer V. Suresh says while there are instances of misusing PILs thereby wasting the court’s time, the attitude of the court in dealing with litigations must also be critically viewed. “As majority of the judges hails from elite sections of the society, they fail to understand many socially important issues that are brought forward through PILs,” he contends.

 The social background of a judge plays a major role in deciding a PIL petition to be frivolous or not. Mr. Suresh is of the view that the increasing number of PILs reflects the total failure of the government concerned and its State machinery in addressing the issue agitated by the litigant.

“If the present attitude of the courts on PIL continues, in a few years the concept of public interest litigation would become a relic,” he opines.

 While endorsing the view that the scope of PIL should not be curtailed citing dubious petitions, a government advocate says that frivolous petitioners add to the burden of the courts, which are dealing with thousands of pending litigations.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2022 11:05:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/frivolous-litigations-make-it-a-bad-pill/article7883459.ece