Friviolous PILs Must be Discouraged

Public interest litigations (PILs) are the most innovative methods of rendering justice, where the principle of locus standi is dispensed with. It is altogether different from the adversarial system of justice and that is why it is also known as the judge made justice delivery system. However, of late it has been misused to such an extent that people look at the PIL advocates not with the respect and dignity which they deserve. Most of them are looked down as the blackmailers because they have largely converted the PILs into Publicity Interest Litigations or Private Interest Litigations or Promotion Interest Litigations. Some of the Advocates allow themselves to be used as the front for some vested interests, who work from behind the curtain.
An advocate ML Sharma has earned the sobriquet of the PIL Advocate, who files petitions at the drop of hat. Most of his petitions are dismissed in limine. Many times, he has been given dressing down in the courts and sometimes costs have been imposed on him. A few days back he filed a PIL in the Supreme Court against setting up of the PM CARE Fund for providing relief to those suffering from COVID- 19. He prayed that the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund ( PM CARE Fund) should be scrapped and PMs National Relief Fund should be allowed to continue which was founded in 1948, which consisted of a representative from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the President of Indian National Congress. Anybody will vouchsafe that the functioning of PM’s National Relief Fund is opaque while the PM CARES Fund is quite transparent. Both funds are discretionary and non-budgetary, as they have not to pass through the scrutiny of Parliament.
So, when this PIL was filed even the most ardent supporters of PIL’s like me were appalled. Thankfully, the SC dismissed his PIL but not without expressing its resentment on the frivolous petition.
Shri Sharma was, many times, made the butt of jokes for his legal understanding and his shoddy English (which unfortunately is the language of all courts in Delhi). When the Article 370 and 35A were scrapped by the Parliament, he rushed to the Supreme Court and filed a PIL against their abrogation. So now whenever he files a PIL, people start attributing motives to him and as a result of it, the credibility of the PIL’s get eroded. When he filed a PIL in the Unnao Rape Case, the Court took umbrage over his basic ignorance of not filing a PIL in the criminal cases. This is not meant to denigrate any person but to highlight the fact that the best instrument of legal remedy for poor and deprived persons should be used with utmost caution and circumspection otherwise it will get dissipated. This will provide another opportunity to top and stinking wealthy lawyers of the country, who have always opposed PILs
I have also filed some PIL’s for which I have always been driven by my heart, mind and soul and It has been a matter of great satisfaction me that the Courts have favourably heard them. PIL’s must be encouraged but it should not be made the handmaid of the foreign-funded NGO’s, publicity-hungry megalomaniacs, urban Naxals and the people inspired by the extraneous interests. There are some, who use this weapon to settle scores from the establishments and the persons heading them. This must stop.