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Locus Standi – Meaning, Nature, Purpose and Types


Shad Khan, a 2nd-Year, School of Law, DAVV Indore Student has written this article on the topic PRINCIPLE OF LOCUS STANDI

Introduction– Meaning

Locus Standi is a Latin phrase meaning “the place of standing.” It refers to the legal right of an Individual or group to bring a lawsuit. The locus standi doctrine is based on Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which gives federal courts jurisdiction over cases involving “controversies” between parties with different interests in the outcome of litigation (e.g., plaintiffs and defendants). In order for a party’s claim against another party to be considered by a court, that person must have sufficient interest in bringing it forward–in other words, they must have locus standi.

History of Locus Standi

 Locus Standi is a Latin phrase that means “the proper place to stand.” It’s a legal concept that refers to the right of an individual or group to bring a lawsuit in court. In other words, locus standi refers to who has the right or ability (locus) to bring an issue before the court for resolution.

Locus Standi originated in England where it was first used by Lord Mansfield in 1758 when he said: “Every man has a right to sue in forma pauperis; but no man has a right without paying his costs.”

Evolution of Locus Standi

In the last few decades, there have been significant changes in the legal standing of individuals.

These changes have led to an expansion of the concept of locus standi and its application for various purposes. The most notable example is perhaps that of public interest litigation, which has become a common feature in modern Indian law. Public interest litigation (PIL) refers to cases where private citizens or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seek relief from courts on behalf of persons who cannot approach them directly due to financial constraints or lack of access to lawyers or other resources required for litigation purposes.

Theory of Locus Standi

The concept of locus standi is a fundamental principle in every legal system. It refers to the right of an individual or a group of individuals to bring an action before a court or tribunal. In other words, it gives people standing – the ability to participate in legal proceedings as parties rather than observers.

The principles governing locus standi are often referred to as “principles” because they are not always clearly defined by law and vary from one jurisdiction (country) to another. However, there are some general rules that apply across jurisdictions:

  • Anyone who has suffered harm may bring suit against those responsible for causing such harm;
  • An injured party must have suffered actual injury before they can sue;
  • A person seeking redress must have an interest at stake in order for their claim to be valid;

Nature of Locus Standi

Locus standi is a legal concept that is intended to ensure that only those who have a legitimate interest in a case can bring a legal action. It is designed to prevent frivolous or vexatious lawsuits that waste the time of the courts and the resources of the parties involved. The doctrine of locus-standi exists to ensure that only those who have a genuine interest in the outcome of a legal dispute can bring a lawsuit.

Purpose of Locus Standi

 The purpose of this doctrine is to limit legal proceedings and protect the interests of parties involved in a case. It also determines which court has jurisdiction over a certain matter, as well as who can be sued or file a claim in court.

Types of Locus Standi

There are two types of locus standi:

  1. Public Locus Standi, which refers to the right to file a case on behalf of the public interest. This type of locus standi is granted by law or statute, and it can be invoked by anyone who has sufficient interest in the matter at hand. For example, if you want to sue your neighbor for littering in front of your house every day, then this would be considered public locus standi because it affects everyone living near him or her.
  2. Private Locus Standi refers to one’s personal interest in an issue or case; this type does not require any special qualifications on behalf of its holder but must still show some connection between themselves and whatever they’re suing over (for example, if someone wants compensation after being injured by another person). In contrast with public locus standi cases where there’s no need for special qualifications because anyone may bring suit against anyone else regardless whether there is any connection between them personally other than being members within society as whole–private suits require more stringent requirements due largely because courts don’t want plaintiffs filing frivolous lawsuits just because they think they might win money from doing so!

Locus standi under Indian Law

The concept of Locus standi is discussed under the order 7 rule 11 of  CPC as :

The plaint shall be rejected in the following cases-
(a) where it does not disclose a cause of action;
(b) where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;
(c) where the relief claimed is properly valued, but the plaint is returned upon paper insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to supply the requisite stamp-paper within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;
(d) where the suit appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law:
Provided that the time fixed by the Court for the correction of the valuation or supplying of the requisite stamp-paper shall not be extended unless the Court, for reasons to be recorded, is satisfied that the plaintiff was prevented by any cause of an exceptional nature form correcting the valuation or supplying the requisite stamp-paper, as the case may be, within the time fixed by the Court and that refusal to extend such time would cause grave injustice to the plaintiff.[1]

Essentials of Locus Standi

To establish locus standi, there are certain essentials that must be satisfied. These include:

Injury in Fact

The first essential of locus standi is that the plaintiff must have suffered an injury in fact. This means that the plaintiff must have suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is actual or imminent, not hypothetical or speculative. The injury must be traceable to the defendant’s conduct, and it must be redressable by a favorable decision of the court.


The second essential of locus standi is causation. The plaintiff must demonstrate that there is a causal connection between their injury and the defendant’s conduct. This means that the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions or omissions caused or contributed to their injury.


The third essential of locus standi is redressability. The plaintiff must show that their injury can be redressed by a favorable decision of the court. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the relief they seek is likely to remedy the harm they have suffered.

Standing to Challenge Government Action

In cases where a plaintiff seeks to challenge government action, there is an additional requirement for locus standi. The plaintiff must show that they have suffered a particularized injury that is distinct from that suffered by the general public. This requirement is intended to prevent lawsuits brought by individuals who are merely concerned about the legality of government action but have not suffered any direct harm as a result of it.

Application of Locus Standi

The locus standi rules are applied in civil cases, criminal cases, and administrative cases.

In civil cases:

The party who has a personal interest in the matter must have the place of standing to bring the case to court. For example, if you want to sue for your salary that was not paid on time by your employer because he failed to honor his contractual obligations under their employment agreement or if you want to recover damages caused by someone else’s negligence through an actionable tort claim against him/her/them (such as negligence), then you must be able to show that there is some connection between yourself and what happened so that you can claim that this affects your interests directly enough so as not only warranting but requiring legal redress from such actions taken against yourself specifically by another person(s).

In criminal cases:

A victim whose rights have been violated should always have locus standi when filing charges against perpetrators of crimes committed against them personally since these acts usually involve violations of one’s right(s) under some law which makes them eligible for compensation through legal means such as seeking monetary damages from perpetrators found guilty through trial processes after going through all required steps outlined within respective laws governing such matters.”

Criticisms of Locus Standi

However, the concept of locus standi is not without its criticisms. One of the main criticisms is that it

allows for an unfair exclusion of certain parties from court proceedings. This can be seen in cases where non-litigants are granted standing to bring a case before the courts while other litigants who have been directly affected by an issue cannot do so due to their lack of legal capacity or citizenship status. In addition, determining whether someone has the place of standing can be difficult because there are no clear guidelines on how courts should determine this issue in each case; instead they rely heavily on precedent decisions made by previous courts (and these precedents may contradict each other).


Locus Standi is a principle that has had a significant impact on the legal system. It allows individuals to be part of legal proceedings, even if they are not directly involved in them. This means that people can take action against something which affects them or someone else, even if they do not have any special relationship with either party involved in the case.

The principle originated from English common law and has since been adopted by many countries around the world as part of their own legal systems. It’s important for anyone who wishes to understand how our modern justice system works because it affects everything from civil cases involving large corporations to criminal investigations into allegations of domestic abuse or sexual assault by celebrities who may otherwise have been insulated from prosecution due simply because there was no one else willing enough (or able) to take action against them.

Also Read: Principle of Natural Justice

[1] Order 7 rule 11 of Civil Procedure Code,1908


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