In this article – Types of writs in India, we will read the five writs of our constitution. It is important and mandatory for us to know about these writs because it creates awareness among us. Five writs of our Indian Constitution are as follows-

What is a Writ?

Writ is a formal written order issued by a court in the name of the state commanding a party to whom it is addressed to do something or abstain from doing something.

The Supreme Court, the highest in the country, may issue writs under Article-32 of the Constitution for enforcement of Fundamental Rights, while High Courts, the superior courts of the states, may issue writs under Article-226.

Article-32(2) empowers Supreme Court to issue directions, instructions, and writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition and Quo-Warranto.
It is with the help of these writs that Supreme Court implements Fundamental Rights. If anybody finds his/her Fundamental Rights violated, he/she directly approach Supreme Court U/A-32.

Dr. Ambedkar called this right as fundamental of all fundamental rights without which the Constitution would be a nullity. He described Article-32 as Heart and Soul of Constitution. [Types of Writs in India]

5 Types of Writs in India| Writs in Indian Constitution

 Types of Writs in India
Types of Writs in India

1) Habeas Corpus-

Mainly, it is issued to safeguard individual liberty. It is issued when a person is wrongfully detained. This can be filled in the Supreme Court by any individual, his/her relatives and not necessarily the aggrieved individual. The writ can be issued both against state and individual.

Haebus Corpus literally means ‘to have the body’ i.e. – to produce the detained person in the court so that the court could investigate the ground of his detention. If a person is wrongfully detained, the court should order for the instant relief of that person.

For e.g.-

In Rudul Sha v State of Bihar (AIR 1983 SC 1086)-
In this case, a person who already completes his punishment forcefully agreed to complete 14 years of more punishment.
Then writ of Haebus corpus is issued and the court ordered for his immediate release.

2) Mandamus-

Literally means ‘we command’. It is in the nature of an order from the court to a person who is holding a public office to perform his/her duty in a proper manner.
Only legal(Statutory) rights can be enforced through the writ of mandamus, not private rights.
This writ cannot be issued against the private organization or individuals or president or governor of a state.

For e.g.-

In Gujarat State Financial Corporation v Lotus Hotels (AIR 1983 SC 848)-
In this case, the financial corporation makes an agreement with lotus hotel to release the fund to carry on the construction work.
But later on, the financial corporation did not release the funds.
Then lotus hotel uses this writ in Supreme Court to enforce the duty of financial corporation.

3) Certiorari-

Means ‘to be certified’. Under this writ, SC and HC give the command to lower courts to submits old records to be reviewed.
SC and HC check the judgments of the lower courts. The judgment of lower courts can be illegal on the basis of-
• There is an excess of jurisdiction.
• There is a lack of jurisdiction
• Jurisdiction is Unconstitutional
If SC and HC find any of the above points valid, then it quashes (cancel) the judgments of lower courts.

For e.g.-

Gullapalli Nageswara Rao v APSRTC (AIR 308 1959)
Ak. Kripak v. Union of India(AIR 1970 SC 150)

In both of the cases, the judgment of lower courts declared illegal.

4) Prohibition-

This writ can be issued only against the judicial or quasi-judicial body. It is issued to ensure that the judicial or quasi-judicial body does not exceed its limits of jurisdiction.

This writ generally issues to prohibit the action of the state, if found unconstitutional. Its objective is to prevent any such body from uprising excess jurisdiction and to keep it within its limits of jurisdiction.

If the judicial or quasi-judicial body has taken up a case for disposal in excess of its jurisdiction, then the writ of prohibition – prohibits it from proceeding further in the case, only aggrieved individual can fill such a writ petition.

For e.g.-

If a person steals a cycle and the court gives him a punishment for the time period of 5 years then the writ of prohibition can be issued against the excessive jurisdiction of the state.

5) Quo-Warranto –

Literally means ‘what is your authority’.
It can be issued only against a person holding public office.
The objective of this writ is to ensure that the person holding the office is qualified to hold the office. Any person or organization can seek the writ of Quo-Warranto.

For e.g.-

PM has to resign if he loses the confidence of Lok-Sabha but if he does not resign then this writ can be issued against.

Hope you find our article –  Types of Writs in India useful.

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