PIL FOR PROTECTION OF RIGHTS OF TRAVELLERS
Public Interest refers to something which the public, the community at large has as pecuniary interest or interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.
Public Interest Litigation is not defined in any statute or in any act. It has been interpreted by judges to consider the intent of public at large. The main target of PIL is only public interest, there are various areas where a PIL can be filed such as
- Violation of basic human rights
- Content or conduct of government policy
- Violation of religious rights or other fundamental rights etc
- PRESENT PROBLEM: COVID-19
We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives. Definitely this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human, economic and social crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is attacking societies at their core and enormous challenges are faced by each sector.
To fight against this pandemic in right direction our Alumnus have done their bit by filing a PIL in Delhi High Court. The current scenario demands social distancing and several safety measures as the only rescue to fight against this pandemic therefore nationwide lockdown policy was adopted by Indian Government but at the same time economic activities cannot be put to halt it will have to resume one day or the another therefore certain safety measures are not only required but are genuinely needed for the health and wellbeing of Nation.
ALUMNUS OF LLOYD LAW COLLEGE has targeted Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking relief from Delhi High Court against DMRC.
Advocates Rohit Mahawar, Shubhi Agarwal and Abhay Gupta alumnus of Lloyd college in their petition prayed for the protection of Right to health of the travelers of Delhi Metro in the wake of COVID 19. DMRC witnesses lakhs of travelers as it is the major means of transport throughout the city, once the lockdown ends the basic Fundamental Right To Heath of public would be deeply affected therefore the petitioners decided to file a PIL with a prayer to direct the DMRC to mandate submission of any address proof at the time of purchasing Metro Card or token, which would later assist the DMRC and other respondents to trace the traveler (if required) during the ongoing COVID 19, if in case any COVID 19 positive patient is found to have travelled through Delhi Metro in past.
Furthermore, the Petitioners also prayed to protect the Right to Property of the Travelers, and justified that the instant PIL if allowed would provide benefit to public at large. The Petitioners mentioned the details of an RTI filed by them in which they questioned the DMRC about the measures they have taken for blocking the lost metro cards of the passengers. To which it was duly replied by the DMRC that there is no such measures. The Petitioners through the instant PIL prayed the Hon’ble Delhi High Court to direct the DMRC to mandate submission of Address proofs by the Travelers while purchasing Metro Card and token and Link the said Metro Card with the Address Proofs of the travelers, which would further protect the basic Fundamental Right to Health and will also protect the Right to Property of the public at large.
The Delhi High Court heard the Petitioners through Video Conferencing and appreciated the contentions of the PIL and have given a liberty to them to make a representation to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for the same contentions as that of the petition. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court has further directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to take inputs on the representation from other Respondents i.e. Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India and Government of NCT of Delhi, and dispose the representation by a reasoned order, within four weeks of submission of the representation. The Petitioners have now filed a Representation to the DMRC along with the Copy of the order passed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court.
PUBLIC INTEREST LAWYERING AND CLINICAL LEGAL EDUCATION
Public interest lawyering is a process of legal empowerment aimed at capacity building of everyday people towards using the law and institutions to bring about social change. In public interest lawyering, general people and community takes the lead in an active process while working hand in hand with lawyers. It is a process that requires the participation of the affected community from onset. Public interest lawyering bridges the paternalistic gap that exist between the lawyer and the end users of the laws within our communities, whereby the communities are disregarded in the articulation of legal issues surrounding them.
Today we understand that the significance of legal empowerment especially towards poverty reduction can be seen with the established link between legal rights and poverty. It is therefore the moral duty of lawyers to teach and educate the public about the law and how to use the law to achieve common good that will positively impact on all the people with the same characteristics. The role of lawyers as agents of change and builders of civil society ought to be made apparent from beginning just as medical doctors have the underlining principle of saving life.
The introduction of law clinics and clinical legal education in Law School has kick started the reform of legal education and incorporation of public interest values. Under this programme, Law School have introduced curriculum based clinical law courses and established law clinics that creates opportunities for law students to provide human rights education and legal aid services to vulnerable groups, persons in places of detention and communities that are legally under-served. Legal Aid Society through its work expands the legal services available for all in need by building and supporting innovative partnerships with nonprofit organizations, law schools and the private sector.
Our program is to build and expand the capacity of a nationwide response system of paralegals providing increasing lawyering skills, expanding volunteerism in the legal profession, and engaging law students in giving back to society today and preparing them as future public interest lawyers. There is of course the obvious debate between the economic instances within our country versus abilities of lawyers to pursue public interest lawyering. However, public interest strategies adopted by practicing lawyers can balance out these economic arguments. In addition, as stipulated above, clinical law students as paralegals are available human resources if adequate networks and links are established. On the above background, we are establishing our PIL - Centre for research based social / public interest lawyering as part of our Legal Aid Centre.
- Mr. Aman Shekhar - BA.LL.B. - Sem. IX
- Mr. Ayush Prakash - BA.LL.B. - Sem. VII
- Mr. Byron Sequeira - BA.LL.B. - Sem. VII
- Ms. Shbanam Khan - LL.B. - Sem. III
- Mr. Nitesh Mishra - LL.B. - Sem. III
- Ms. Sonali Chauhan - LL.B. - Sem. III