Which was the First Reported Case of PIL in India?

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : November 14th, 2022

The first reported case of PIL in India was filed under the name of Hussainara Khatoon in 1979 against the Bihar State. Pushpa Kapila Higorani, a lawyer, filed the petition to draw attention to the conditions of the inmates held in the Bihar jail. The petition was submitted to the Supreme Court of India and was signed by a number of jail inmates.

First Reported Case of PIL in India

The first PIL petition was Hussainara Khatoon vs. State of Bihar (1979), although Justice Krishna Iyer mentioned it in the 1976 Mumbai Kamgar case (Mumbai Kamgar Sabha v. M/s Abdulbhai Faizullabhai and others (1976 (3) SCC 832), which concerned the plight of prisoners awaiting trial.

  • The inmates of the Bihar jail received justice through the first PIL case reported in India.
  • When Hussainara Khatoon brought the first PIL against the Bihar state in 1979, the Supreme Court of India ruled that prisoners must be provided with free legal representation in order to advance their cases and protect their interests.
  • Around 40,000 inmates were released from the Bihar jail as a result of this PIL.

PIL or Public Litigation Interest is a concept that comes under Article 39A of the constitution of India. This Article provides that prompt social justice should be provided to every citizen of India with the help of Indian law. Learn more about the first reported case of PIL in India below.

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FAQs on 1st Reported Case of PIL in India

  • The first PIL in India was under the name of Hussainara Khatoon. Hussainara was a prisoner in Bihar jail, and along with many other prisoners, challenged the conditions of the jail in a PIL in 1979.

  • Hussainara Khatoon filed the first PIL in India in 1979 against the Bihar jail. The PIL was presented to the Supreme Court and as a result, 40,000 inmates were released.

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