Who We Are
To strive for an India where every citizen is respected and fairly treated.
To champion vital public causes
To defend and fight for the rights and entitlements of all groups of citizens.
Common Cause is dedicated to championing public causes. It has been in the vanguard of the campaign for probity in public life and integrity of institutions. Over the years, it has earned a reputation and credibility for its initiatives, advocacy and public interest litigations (PILs). Common Cause seeks to promote democracy, good governance and public policy reforms through advocacy, interventions and by formal and informal engagement with policy makers, dissemination of ideas, events, and campaigns.
Common Cause is a registered society with over 2500 members spread all over the country. Its day to day affairs are run by a small but handpicked team of professionals led by a Director cum Chief Executive and supported by a Governing Council of distinguished citizens headed by a President. The backbone of the organisation’s work is pro bono support from some of India’s most renowned and public-spirited lawyers, policy makers and development thinkers. It is run mainly with grants and voluntary contributions from its members, friends and well-wishers.
Common Cause is especially known for the difference it has made through a large number of PILs filed in the Supreme Court and the High Courts, and quite a few cases taken to the National Commission established under the Consumer Protection Act.
The very first case taken up by Common Cause related to the problems of pensioners. Almost four million pensioners benefited from the three important Supreme Court judgments, relating to the extension of liberalisation of pension, restoration of commutation of pension and extension of the scheme of family pension. Over the years, Common Cause interventions have resulted in many more landmark judgments impacting the lives of millions of people.
Among the more recent and momentous orders of the Apex Court have been the cancellation of entire telecom spectrum allocation; cancellation of arbitrarily allocated captive coal blocks with directions to conduct impartial and transparent auctions; holding Section 66A of the IT Act -- that heavily curtailed the freedom of expression in the cyber space -- as unconstitutional; prohibiting misuse of public money through laudatory and self-congratulatory advertisements by politicians in power, to name only a few.
Common Cause has participated in various government and parliamentary committees, made representations and submitted proposals on a number of issues including consumer protection, taxation reforms, public health, housing, right to information, right to education and employment generation. In the past it has organized a series of seminars on critical issues in governance, viz ‘Making the Police Effective & People Friendly’ , ‘Agenda for Administrative Reforms’, ‘Ethics in Governance’, ‘Local self-government –The Unfinished Agenda’ and a symposium on ‘Participatory versus Representative Democracy, Exploring New Paradigms in Self Governance’.