Public Interest Litigation Of Pakistan Essay

2297 Words Nov 29th, 2016 10 Pages
PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION IN PAKISTAN
Similar to India, Pakistan also decided to adapt their approach according to the terrible human rights conditions in the country. The openness of the courts to PIL is not a big surprise as they have many commonalities in legal structures with their Indian neighbors. The approach taken by the Pakistani courts in regards to standing has always been embedded in the adversarial model. The Pakistani Supreme Court stated in 1959 in Province of East Pakistan v Md. Mehdi Ali khan that:
Anyone who challenges the constitutionality of a law must raise a case in the decision of which he has real and personal interest, in the sense that as an individual he would be adversely affected if the law which operates against him is not found and declared to be unconstitutional. He cannot move the Court as pro bono publico or merely as a 'tax payer’…
One of the pioneering cases of PIL was the case of Benazir Bhutto v Federation of Pakistan, in which the Supreme Court (SC) allowed Ms. Benazir Bhutto, who was the co-chairperson of a political party, to file a petition challenging the country’s election laws. In the first human rights public interest petition, Darshin Masih v the State, the SC invoked jurisdiction based on a telegram sent by some brick kiln bonded laborers along with their families.
Over time, the Court used PIL with regards to a vast number of social problems, including unfair laws regarding women and children, abuse of prisoners etc.…

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