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Various Types Of Writs Under Constitution Of India

Various Types Of Writs Under Constitution Of India

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A writ means an order. A warrant is also a type of writ. Anything that is issued under an authority is a writ. In this sense, using the power conferred by Article 32, the Supreme Court issues directions, orders or writs. As we know that Article 32(3) confers the power to parliament to make law empowering any court to issue these writs. But this power has not been used and only Supreme Court by Article 32 (2) and High Courts (Article 226) can issue writs. Meaning of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari Habeas corpus, mandamus quo warranto and certiorari are Latin words. They have different meaning and different implications. Let’s understand one by one:

Writ of Habeas corpus

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By Habeas corpus writ the Supreme Court or High Court can cause any person who has been detained or imprisoned (this means violation of his fundamental right to liberty) to be physically brought before the court. The court then examines the reason of his detention and if there is no legal justification of his detention, he can be set free.

Is body (physical presence) compulsory?

Ordinarily yes, but in Kanu Sanyal v/s District Magistrate (AIR) (1974) case the Supreme Court laid down that the physical presence is NOT a part of the writ.

When the writ of Habeas corpus is issued?

When the person is detained and not produced before the magistrate within 24 hours When the person is arrested without any violation of a law. When a person is arrested under a law which is unconstitutional When detention is done to harm the person or is malafide.

 Who can file the petition?
A general rule of filing the petition is that a person whose right has been infringed must file a petition. But Habeas corpus is an exception to that. This is because, a person detained or imprisoned may be severely handicapped. So anybody on behalf of the detainee can file a petition.

Writ of Mandamus

Mandamus means “we order”. The Supreme Court or High Court orders to a person, corporation, lower court, public authority or state authority.

What order?

The order to do something. It’s a command or directive to perform something or some act.

What is the core philosophy of Mandamus?

The core philosophy is that a person or authority despite of fulfillment of such conditions which demand an action refuses to act then, the Supreme Court or High Court can ask the person or authority to perform that duty. For example, if a person fulfills all the preconditions & formalities to be issued a license but still the authority refuses to issue a license even after that person approaches to that particular authority, the person may seek writ petition.

Writ of Prohibition

The writ of prohibition means that the supreme court and High Courts may prohibit the lower courts such as special tribunals, magistrates, commissions, and other judiciary officers who are doing something which exceeds to their jurisdiction or acting contrary to the rule of natural justice. This implies that if a judicial officer has personal interest in a case, it may hamper the decision and the course of natural justice. Writ of Prohibition means to be issued in this case.

Quo Warranto

Quo warranto means “by what warrant”? This means that Supreme Court and High Court may issue the writ which restrains the person or authority to act in an office which he / she is not entitled to. This writ is applicable to the public offices only.

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