WRITS AND PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATIONS (PIL’s) ARE FREEDOM FIRM’s RECOURSE TO SECURE JUSTICE.

“It is an opportunity for the government to make basic human rights meaningful to the vulnerable sections of the community.”

Definition of a Writ- A writ is a formal order from the court commanding the respective government bodies to do or refrain from doing the specified acts mentioned.

Definition of a PIL- PIL is intended to promote and vindicate public interest which demands that violations of rights of a large number of people who are poor, ignorant or in a disadvantaged position do not go unnoticed and under addressed.

In India, the Supreme Court has power to issue writs under Article 32 of the constitution and the High Court has power to issue writs under Article 226 of the constitution. The jurisdiction of the High Courts under Art 226 is to be exercised to ensure that the law of the land is obeyed and to see that public authorities are kept within the limits of their jurisdiction. The writs issued under Art 226 by the High Court are a remedy against violation of rights by state or statutory authorities. It is a remedy offered in public law.

Freedom Firm has a writ petition filed in the Bombay High Court as well as one in the Nagpur High Court. The respondent for the petition filed in the Bombay High Court is the Commissioner of Police of Pune and the respondent for the petition filed in the Nagpur High Court is the Child Welfare Committee of Nagpur.

In Bombay, the petition prays to the court to issue writs concerning a number of matters including ordering the police to take action against pending cases where the accused are presently absconding. The petition also asks the police to seek clear documents when an accused is seeking bail as opposed to previous instances where proper documents were not sought. Freedom Firm is also petitioning the court to order the police to create a database of all trafficking cases.

In Nagpur the petition asks the court to issue directives concerning a number of matters including asking the court to issue writs to quash and set aside illegal discharge orders made by the child welfare committee. We are also asking the court in Nagpur to order for girls who are illegally discharged to be produced and for the Child Welfare Committee to deal with applications of discharge of girls with extreme caution. This is because girls have been released based on the fake documents given by those who seek the girls’ custody. In short we are questioning and bringing to the attention of the court the previous methods used by the Child Welfare Committee in releasing some of the rescued girls.

As a general rule, in order to file a petition for a writ the petitioner should be an “aggrieved person”, but that concept has been liberalised. A writ can be filed against a state or statutory bodies and persons charged with public duties.

Since Freedom Firm is not an “aggrieved party” in the petitions we have filed something called a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).  In a broad sense, PIL is intended to promote and vindicate public interest which demands that violations of rights of a large number of people who are poor, ignorant or in a disadvantaged position do not go unnoticed and under addressed. It is an opportunity for the government to make basic human rights meaningful to the vulnerable sections of the community.

Through filing the PILs, Freedom Firm brings to the attention of the court cases where the police have not taken action in regards to the absconding perpetrators and also where the Child Welfare Committee has been negligent in releasing minor girls without following proper procedure.

Nagpur District Court