Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Bangladesh


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What is Public interest litigation?

PIL (Public Interest litigation) is a system to file a case to get a court order in favor of public interest or to protect the rights of public litigation filed into the higher court.

Specifically, Public interest litigation is defined in the Constitution of Bangladesh. Article 102 of the Bangladesh Constitution. Under this article given such powers to issue certain orders and directions of the High court division.

Another name of PIL(Public Interest litigation) is the writ. Historically PIL originated and developed in the British legal system. The Public Interest litigation was royal prerogatives.

Kinds of Public Interest Litigation

The prerogatives writs are five in number.

1. Writ of Habeas corpus

The word Habeas Corpus defined ‘have his body’ to have the body present the court. It is also an order of the higher court that, commands the authorities holding an individual in custody to bring that person into court.

Also the writ of ‘Habeas Corpus’ is a process for the defense of the personal life of the subjects by affording an effective means of immediate release from unlawful detention of custody, whether in public prison or in private custody.

2. Writ of Mandamus

The order of mandamus is an order of a most extensive remedial nature and is in the form a command issuing from the High court of justice directed to any person, corporation, or inferior tribunal, requiring him or them to do some particular thing therein specified which appertaining to his or their office and is in the nature of public duty.

in Halsbury’s Laws of England described the writ of mandamus as follows. It is clear that when an authority or a person has refused or failed to perform his statutory duty, it is the writ of mandamus by which the higher court can compel the authority or court or person to do his duty or obligation. The writ of mandamus is a positive remedy.

3. Writ of Prohibition

At the point when a court or a council or a position or an individual is going to disregard the standards of common equity or is going to manhandle the force or is going to act in overabundance of it’s jurisdiction, the higher court by giving a writ of preclusion can preclude the court, court or authority from doing such demonstration. Writ of Prohibition is a preventive remedy.

4. Writ of Certiorari

If a court or a tribunal or an authority or a person has already violated the principle of natural justice or misused the power or acted in excess of its jurisdiction, the Supreme court issuing by certiorari can quash that act can declare that act illegal.

This is a writ of certiorari.

5. Writ of Quo Warranto

If a person illegally holds a public or private office created by law, the higher court may, on the application of any person, by issuing quo-warranto, ask the person to show on what authority he holds the workplace and can make him not to hold such office further.

Who can file PIL (Public Interest Litigation) in Bangladesh?

If any person aggrieved or as may be appropriate for the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights by the constitution he can want remedy to the High court division by the application.

Article 102 of the Bangladesh Constitution the High court division may, if satisfied that no other equally efficacious remedy is provided by law.

The sub-article 3 provides the high court division shall have no power under this article to pass any interim or other order in relation to any law to which article 47 applies. So, we see that PIL can file in different stages.

PIL (Public Interest Litigation) Case Study

1. Anwar Hossain Chowdhury Vs. Bangladesh, 1989 BLD (Spl) [Eighth Amendment Case]

The Lawyers started a movement against the setting up of permanent benches of the high court division outside the capital by the Martial Law authorities and the movement continued even after the withdrawal of Martial Law.

The process of setting up permanent benches of the High court Division was contended to be unconstitutional and in this situation the Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 1988 was passed amending art.

100 of the Bangladesh Constitution and thereby setting up 6 permanent benches of the High Court Division outside the capital and authorizing the president to fix by notification the territorial jurisdiction of the permanent benches.

By the same amending Act, Islam was made the state religion of Bangladesh.

2. Kazi Mukhlesur Rahman Vs. Bangladesh (1974) 26 DLR (AD) 44 [Third Amendment Case]

The Constitution defined the territory of the Republic to be the territories that immediately before the proclamation of independence constituted the territory of East Pakistan and such other territories as may become included in the Republic.

When Bangladesh entered into an agreement with India giving up its claim to Berubari and retaining Dahagram, the Appellate Division held that the agreement involved cession of territory which could not be done except by constitutional amendment.

So, the constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1974 was passed to give effect to the agreement.


After the many times of Bangladesh Constitution amendment, The necessity of public interest litigation in Bangladesh going to be a good sign.

After all, the basic demand and more times in all country raise some issues which going to public interest litigation.

Day by day, PIL (Public Interest Litigation) rate would be high. To ensure justice and administrative conduct the PIL is most important in Bangladesh.

read also: Civil litigation: Steps of filing and disposal of

Advocate Shipta Barua
Advocate Shipta Barua
Shipta Barua has been Completed LL.B(Hon's) from Cox's Bazar International University and completed LL.M in Human Rights at Southern University Bangladesh. Writing and discussion about the critical and important topics of law in his choice. For primary Legal support and enrich to the general people legal knowledge he working in the Legal Home & Advocate at the District & Session Judge Court, Cox's Bazar.



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