Rohingya refugees move court over ‘hate campaigns’ on Facebook, flag high risk in poll year.

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Judiciary and Tribunals

Topic: Judicial activism and PIL

Issue: PIL

Context: A PIL was filed by two Rohingya refugees before the Delhi High Court, flagging the “hate campaigns” on social media,referring to Rohingyas as “terrorists” and “infiltrators”.

Public Interest Litigation(PIL):

  • The concept of PIL was designed to provide legal representation to previously unrepresented groups and interests.
  • In India, Justice P.N.Bhagwati and Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer introduced the concept of PIL and hence referred to as pioneers of judicial activism.
  • Relaxation of the traditional rule of ‘locus standi’(only that person whose rights are infringed alone can move the court for remedies).

Who can file a PIL?

  • Individuals: Any Indian citizen or any public-spirited person including non-citizens residing in India with a genuine concern for public welfare can file a PIL.
  • Organisations: Social organisations like NGOs, Trade unions and Public bodies including universities, hospitals can file PILs.

Landmark PIL case laws:

  1. Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985)- Supreme Court recognized the right to life with dignity for slum dwellers and ordered the government to provide them with basic amenities.

2.   Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan(1997) – The Supreme Court issued guidelines to prevent sexual harassment at workplaces.


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