Public Interest Litigation has now gained prominence in Pakistan due to a number of suomoto cases wherein the Supreme Court of Pakistan has delivered significant verdicts in the public interest. Public interest litigation is often filed in any superior court for the protection of the rights of the ‘public at large’ and in ‘public interest’. PIL is extremely important as ithelps deliver civic justice through speedy, adequate and effective redress upon violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights. PIL also brings questions of public importance before a court of law which calls attention to issues legislators or the executive have not taken steps to address.
FFR often uses medium of public interest litigation to advocate on thematic areas of interest. Presently, FFR is working on a number of issues as part of public interest litigation before various high courts in Pakistan.
Individuals arrested by police forces across Pakistan are frequently subjected to brutal police torture. Pakistan’s Constitution recognizes the fundamental rightnot to be subjected to torture for the purposes of extracting evidence under Article 14(2). The prohibition on torture is also a peremptory norm of international law. FFR’s work is focused on this crucial issue is pursuing legal action against the Government of Pakistan to seek enforcement of the prohibition against torture as well as reparationsfrom the state for victims of police torture.
FFR has been involved in protecting the settlement rights of people from urban slums, orkatchi abadis, and recently filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court on the issues of forced relocations, abandoned upgradation policies, and discriminatory criminal claims against residents.
FFR is protecting the fundamental rights of those illegally detained by intelligence agencies without access to due process.