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  • Writer's pictureBrain Booster Articles


Author: Sameer Afzal Ansari, IV year of B.A.,LL.B. from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University

Writs tare ta twritten torder tfrom tthe tSupreme tCourt tor tHigh tCourt tthat commands tconstitutional tremedies tfor tIndian tCitizens tagainst tthe violation tof ttheir tfundamental trights. tArticle t32 tin tthe tIndian Constitution tdeals twith tconstitutional tremedies tthat tan tIndian tcitizen tcan seek tfrom tthe tSupreme tCourt tand tHigh tCourt tagainst tthe tviolation tof his/her tfundamental trights. tThe tsame tarticle tgives tthe tSupreme tCourt power tto tissue twrits tfor tthe tenforcement tof trights twhereas tthe tHigh Court thas tthe tsame tpower tunder tArticle t226. t

Types of Writs in India

The tSupreme tCourt tof tIndia tis tthe tdefender tof tthe tfundamental trights of tthe tcitizens. tFor tthat, tit thas toriginal tand twide tpowers. tIt tissues tfive kinds tof twrits tfor tenforcing tthe tfundamental trights tof tthe tcitizens. tThe five ttypes tof twrits tare:

  1. Habeas Corpus

  2. Mandamus

  3. Prohibition

  4. Certiorari

  5. Quo-Warranto

Habeas Corpus

The tLatin tmeaning tof tthe tword t‘Habeas tCorpus’ tis t‘To thave tthe tbody of.’ tThis twrit tis tused tto tenforce tthe tfundamental tright tof tindividual liberty tagainst tunlawful tdetention. tThrough tHabeas tCorpus, tSupreme Court/High tCourt torders tone tperson twho thas tarrested tanother tperson tto bring tthe tbody tof tthe tlatter tbefore tthe tcourt.

  1. The tSupreme tCourt tor tHigh tCourt tcan tissue tthis twrit tagainst tboth private tand tpublic tauthorities.

  2. Habeas tCorpus tcan tnot tbe tissued tin tthe tfollowing tcases:

  • When tdetention tis tlawful

  • When tthe tproceeding tis tfor tcontempt tof ta tlegislature tor ta tcourt

  • Detention tis tby ta tcompetent tcourt

  • Detention tis toutside tthe tjurisdiction tof tthe tcourt


The tliteral tmeaning tof tthis twrit tis t‘We tcommand.’ tThis twrit tis tused tby the tcourt tto torder tthe tpublic tofficial twho thas tfailed tto tperform this tduty or trefused tto tdo this tduty, tto tresume this twork. tBesides tpublic tofficials, Mandamus tcan tbe tissued tagainst tany tpublic tbody, ta tcorporation, tan inferior tcourt, ta ttribunal, tor tgovernment tfor tthe tsame tpurpose.

  • Unlike tHabeas tCorpus, tMandamus tcannot tbe tissued tagainst ta private individual

  • Mandamus tcan tnot tbe tissued tin tthe tfollowing tcases:

  • To tenforce tdepartmental tinstruction tthat tdoes tnot tpossess tstatutory tforce

  • To torder tsomeone tto twork twhen tthe tkind tof twork tis tdiscretionary tand tnot tmandatory

  • To tenforce ta tcontractual tobligation

  • Mandamus tcan’t tbe tissued tagainst tthe tIndian tPresident tor tState tGovernors

  • Against tthe tChief tJustice tof ta tHigh tCourt tacting tin ta tjudicial tcapacity


The tliteral tmeaning tof t‘Prohibition’ tis t‘To tforbid.’ tA tcourt tthat tis thigher in tposition tissues ta tProhibition t twrit t tagainst ta tcourt tthat tis tlower tin position tto tprevent tthe tlatter tfrom texceeding tits tjurisdiction tor tusurping a tjurisdiction tthat tit tdoes tnot tpossess. tIt tdirects tinactivity.

  • Writ tof tProhibition tcan tonly tbe tissued tagainst tjudicial tand tquasi-judicial tauthorities.

  • It tcan’t tbe tissued tagainst tadministrative tauthorities, tlegislative tbodies tand tprivate tindividuals tor tbodies.


The tliteral tmeaning tof tthe twrit tof t‘Certiorari’ tis t‘To tbe tcertified’ tor t‘To be tinformed.’ tThis twrit tis tissued tby ta tcourt thigher tin tauthority tto ta lower tcourt tor ttribunal tordering tthem teither tto ttransfer ta tcase tpending with tthem tto titself tor tquash ttheir torder tin ta tcase. tIt tis tissued ton tthe grounds tof tan texcess tof tjurisdiction tor tlack tof tjurisdiction tor terror tof law. tIt tnot tonly tprevents tbut talso tcures tfor tthe tmistakes tin tthe tjudiciary.

  • Pre-1991: tThe twrit tof tCertiorari tused tto tbe tissued tonly tagainst tjudicial tand tquasi-judicial tauthorities tand tnot tagainst tadministrative tauthorities

  • Post-1991: tThe tSupreme tCourt truled tthat tthe tcertiorari tcan tbe tissued teven tagainst tadministrative tauthorities taffecting tthe trights tof tindividuals

  • It tcannot tbe tissued tagainst tlegislative tbodies tand tprivate tindividuals tor tbodies.


The tliteral tmeaning tof tthe twrit tof t‘Quo-Warranto’ tis t‘By twhat tauthority or twarrant.’ tSupreme tCourt tor tHigh tCourt tissue tthis twrit tto tprevent illegal tusurpation tof ta tpublic toffice tby ta tperson. tThrough tthis twrit, tthe court tenquires tinto tthe tlegality tof ta tclaim tof ta tperson tto ta tpublic toffice


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