The hearing of the PIL Occupational Health and Safety Association v. U.O.I in the Supreme Court today by the Bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justice R.V.Raveendran brought forth some interesting discussion on the PILs, especially in the context of Justice M.Katju’s observations against Judicial activism in another case as reported on this blog. Justice Raveendran wanted to know from counsel for Centre for Public Interest Litigation whether there has been any research or study on which areas PIL has been productive and which areas it was not. He especially referred to the Yamuna case, and wondered whether Justice Katju’s observations (without saying so explicitly) might be correct.
Prashant Bhushan said if the orders of the Court are not implemented, then the Court has to make sure that they are implemented. “Just because they are not implemented, you can’s say those PILs were useless”, he suggested.
Justice Raveendran, however, added that there may be some areas which are counter-productive, where we can say “hands-off”. Sanjay Parikh, another senior counsel, agreed with Justice Raveendran,that such categorisation has to be done.