Types of Writs In Indian Constitution

Introduction – Types of Writs In Indian Constitution ⇒ Both the Supreme Court and High Courts have a lot of powers to provide justice and all those powers are provided by The Indian Constitution.

And to issue the writs is one of the most important powers. A writ is a command given by the court to a person or an authority or both to act or not to act in a particular way.

And as the writs are the commands given by the courts, they are essential parts of the judicial power of the courts.

– by Harshvardhan Abhimanyu Karad (2nd year, MNLU Mumbai)

What are writs ?

What do the writs mean? Writs are nothing but the written orders that are given by either the Supreme Court or the High Court. These written orders command constitutional remedies for the Indian citizens against the violation of their rights or fundamental rights.

According to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court of India can issue writs whereas according to Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, High Courts can issue writs.

Types of Writs In Indian Constitution

Habeas Corpus:

Types of Writs In Indian Constitution → The literal meaning of Habeas Corpus is ‘to have the body of’. This type of writ is used when unlawful detention has occurred to enforce the fundamental right of individual liberty. When this writ is issued, a person or an authority who has arrested another person has to bring that another person before the court.

Rules for Habeas Corpus:

a. The applicant should be in the custody of other

b. Family members can file an application or strangers can also file applications in the public interest

c. Formal or Informal applications can be filed

d. The same application cannot be made successively to different judges of the same court.

e. All or part of formalities and procedures should not be followed by police while making the arrest, etc.

Example:

Himesh was making threats to Hina, so the father of Hina, who is a police officer arrested Himesh and imprisoned him. Hina’s father didn’t file FIR and did not follow the procedure to arrest Himesh. So Himesh is wrongfully detained.

Hrithik who is a brother of Himesh filed an application in the respective court and by issuing the writ of Habeas Corpus, the court set Himesh free.

Mandamus:

The literal meaning of Mandamus is ‘we command.’ This type of writ is used when a public official or public body or corporation or lower court or tribunal or even the government has not done the needed duty or refused to do. After this writ is issued, the duty needs to be resumed.

Grounds for Mandamus:

a. Petitioner must have a right recognized by law
b. Infringement of the right must be done
c. The petitioner must demand the authority to perform the duty and non-performance of the duty must be present
d. Other remedies must be absent
e. The petitioner must prove that a duty is owed to him and authority has not performed the duty
f. The non-performed duty must be mandatory duty, etc.

Example:

has a right to live life with dignity. And Electricity board has a duty to provide her electricity but the board intentionally didn’t provide her with the electricity and refused to do the duty.

Apeksha filed a suit and by issuing the Writ of Mandamus, the court ordered the board to supply the electricity to Apeksha.

Prohibition:

The literal meaning of Prohibition is ‘to forbid.’ This type of writ is used when a court is in a lower position i.e., the lower court exceeds its jurisdiction or un pursue a jurisdiction that is not possessed by it.

Rules of Prohibition:

a. Lower court or tribunal should overstep its jurisdiction,

b. Lower court or tribunal goes against the law,

c. If lower court or tribunal partly acting in a jurisdiction and partly outside the jurisdiction, Prohibition will be issued against the act which is partly outside the jurisdiction,

d. Proceeding must be pending in the lower court or tribunal,

e. Application should be made against judicial or quasi-judicial body only, etc.

Example:

Sameer and Shahid made a contract in which Shahid decided to sell his land to Sameer for 2 cr. Rupees. And Sameer failed to pay the amount on time, so Shahid brought a suit in the Pune District Court.

But the contract was made in Thane, both lived in Mumbai and Land was in Aurangabad. So, the Pune district court has no jurisdiction over the case. And High court, by issuing the Writ of Prohibition, can order the Pune District Court to forbid the pending suit.

Certiorari:

The literal meaning of Certiorari is ‘to be certified’ or ‘to be informed.’ This type of writ is used when a transfer of a case that is pending in the lower courts or the order given by lower courts in a case needs to be quashed. This writ is issued on the basis of an excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction or error of law.

After this writ is issued, mistakes in the judiciary are cured.

Grounds of Certiorari:

a. Overstepping or abuse or absence of jurisdiction should be present by lower courts

b. Violation of principles of natural justice can be present

c. Some errors of law can be present, etc.

Conditions of Certiorari:

a. The body or person should have legal authority.

b. Authority should be related to questions affecting the rights of people.

c. Body or person has a duty to act judicially while functioning.

d. Person or body has acted in excess of their jurisdiction or legal authority, etc.

Example:

There is a case in District Court, and the court lacks jurisdiction to hear such matters. But the District Court Judge hears the case and renders his ruling, and Jennie who was affected by the order passed makes a petition in the High Court. As a result of the power to issue Writs, the High Court will issue a Writ of Certiorari on the District Court’s order, and the District Court’s order will be quashed.

Quo-Warranto:

The literal meaning of Quo-Warranto is ‘by what authority or warrant.’ This type of writ is used when an illegal usurpation of a public office by a person is done. After this writ is issued, the legality of a claim of a person to the office is enquired.

Conditions of Quo-Warranto:

a. Office which is wrongfully assumed by a private person should be a public office,

b. The office should be created by the constitution or another statute

c. Duties of office should be public duties,

d. The office should be permanent,

e. The application should be made against a person who is in possession of office and uses the office,

f. Office should not be of private nature, etc.

Example:

Sanjana is a private citizen. She has no qualifications that are required for the post of RTO officer. Although, assumes such office. Here a Writ of Quo Warranto can be issued against Sanjana to call into question her authority on which she has taken the control of the office RTO officer.

Conclusion:

Types of Writs In Indian Constitution → There are five types of Writs which are Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Quo Warranto and Prohibition and all these writs are an effective method of enforcing the rights of the people and compelling the authorities to fulfil the duties which are bound to perform under the law.

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