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CJI Against 'Publicity' Interest Litigation

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 11 (UNI) India's Chief Justice Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal today defended public interest litigation but drew a line against what he said amounted to ''publicity'' interest litigation.

His remarks to journalists after a day-long conference of chief ministers and high court chief justice appeared to echo Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's advocating a ''balanced approach in taking up PIL cases.'' Justice Sabharwal recounted a number of pronouncements since the onset of PILs, which, he pointed out made very valuable and useful contribution to the society.

At the same time, he stressed stern rejection of any attempts to abuse the PIL option with ulterior motives.

Earlier, opening the conference, Dr Singh described PIL as a highly commendable mechanism when it was initiated.

But he said ''we need to reflect whether we have reached a stage where the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, whether it has become a tool for obstruction, delay and sometimes even harassment.

''A balanced approach in taking up PIL cases, I am certain, will continue to keep PILs as a potent tool for rectifying public ills.

''In a similar vein, I feel that judicial activism too must be used in a restrained manner to fill up any institutional vacuum or failure and to clarify legal positions, retaining its character as a powerful but sparingly used instrument for correction.

''Judicial activism must also take adequately into account the administrative viability of the reform process.'' UNI MJ PA RK2023

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