What is Public Interest?

The term ‘public interest’ has not been defined in the RTI Act. It is generally described as ‘general well-being’ or “something which is of serious concern and benefit to the public”. Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edn. defines ‘Public Interest’ as ‘Something in which the public, the community at large, has some pecuniary interest, or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected. It does not mean anything so narrow as mere curiosity, or as the interests of the particular localities, which may be affected by the matters in question. Interest shared by citizens generally in affairs of local, State or national Government.’

The public interest is a wide concept covering public order, public health, public security, morals, economic welfare of the community, and the objects mentioned in Part IV of the Constitution – Directive Principles of State Policy.