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Writ Jurisdiction of Courts in India

Writ Jurisdiction Of Courts In India

According to Articles 12-35 of the Indian Constitution, every citizen is given a number of essential rights. Granting fundamental rights is necessary, but it is also necessary to protect them. As a result, the Indian Constitution's Article 32 provides a remedy for the protection of fundamental rights by allowing the Supreme Court to issue writs when a citizen's basic rights are violated and to the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Writs were once known as prerogative writs because the crown used them to make decisions in extreme circumstances. The judicial and administrative systems of today do not employ this language. The prerogative writs are what are known as Writs in India.

A writ is a directive or order issued by a higher court requiring someone to carry out or refrain from carrying out a certain action. Any person may submit a writ petition when the state violates one of their fundamental rights. According to common law, a writ is the formal written order given by a body with administrative or judicial power. In India, a court, which includes the Supreme Court and High Courts, is the entity that issues such writs.

It upholds the impacted person's fundamental rights and legal rights. A person has the fundamental right to raise the court's notice to any complaint or grievance they may have over any administrative action. The safeguarding of natural justice and the protection of fundamental rights are the two most important elements of writ jurisdictions.

Pronouncing the authority of Supreme Court in matters concerning writ jurisdiction, clause (1) and (2) of Article 32 of the Caonstitution of India states:

  1. The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed[1]
  2. The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part[2]

In the case of L.Chandra Kumar v. Union of India, 1997, the Hon'ble Supreme Court ruled that the Supreme Court's authority to issue writs to Indian citizens in order to uphold their fundamental rights is an aspect of the basic structure concept and that, as a result, this power can never be amended or eliminated.[3]

The fundamental rights of citizens are guarded by the Supreme Court. It is regarded as the "guarantor" and "defender" of India's people' fundamental rights. It has the authority to issue the following five writs: prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.

The only courts with the authority to exercise writ jurisdiction are the Supreme Court and the High Courts. While article 32 grants it to the Supreme Court, article 226 grants it to the high courts.

Whereas Article 226(1) of the Constitution of India lays down the jurisdiction of writ with respect to the High Courts in India.

Power of High Courts to issue certain writs:
  1. Notwithstanding anything in Article 32 every High Court shall have powers, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government, within those territories, directions, orders or writs for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose.[4]
The High Courts have additional powers in addition to issuing writs to uphold basic rights. They have more authority in this situation than the Supreme Court. Additionally, unlike the Supreme Court, which must issue writs when fundamental rights are violated, the High Court has discretion when granting writs.

Writs are orders given by courts to uphold people's basic rights (citizens or aliens). In this regard, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in the sense that a person who feels wronged can approach the Supreme Court directly, rather than always through an appeal. The Supreme Court's writ jurisdiction is not, however, sole. The High Courts also have the authority to issue writs to enact the Fundamental Rights.

The Constitution of India recognises five different sorts of writs.

The five categories of writs are as under:

Habeas Corpus:

Habeas Corpus is a Latin phrase that translates to "to produce the body." For instance, the court may issue a writ of habeas corpus requiring the corpse to be presented within 24 hours if a person is being imprisoned unlawfully in order to give them the chance to prove their innocence. If he is found to be innocent, he ought to be let go. If not, he will be sent in prison.


The Latin word for "command" is "mandamus." It cannot be given in the case of a private individual or business. The higher courts issue writs of mandamus to monitor public servants and determine whether they are adequately discharging their duties. If they don't, they are asked to do their assignment or stop acting in a certain way.


A legal term with the meaning "to prohibit, restrain, hinder, or forbid" is "prohibition." In order to prevent the subordinate court from acting outside of its mandated jurisdiction or exceeding its authority, the higher court issues a writ of prohibition against it. It cannot be applied to statutory bodies, administrative agencies, or private individuals or businesses. Only judicial and quasi-judicial organisations are subject to it.

Exact definition of Quo Warranto is "by what authority or warrant." Anyone other than the party who was offended is given the right to seek redress under this writ. The ministerial office cannot be the target of it. This writ is used to determine who has the legal authority to hold a public office in the event of a disagreement.


The Latin word certiorari, which meaning "certified," is used. The High Court or Supreme Court will issue this writ against a lower court or tribunal in order to transfer the matter to another superior body for careful consideration. In other words, it is a review of the lower court's judgement or an appeal from that court.

The Supreme Court has broad original jurisdiction under the Constitution to uphold fundamental rights. These writs, including writs to execute them, may be issued by it. In the case of the Supreme Court and lower courts, the High Courts have the authority to ordain the transfer of any civil or criminal case from one State High Court to another State High Court or from a Court Subordinate to another State High Court (in case of High Courts).

The Supreme Court may withdraw a case or cases pending before the High Court or High Courts and resolve all such cases itself if it is satisfied that cases involving the same or substantially the same legal questions are pending before it and one or more High Courts or before two or more High Courts and that these questions are significant questions of general importance. In order to advance the cases before the lower courts, the High Courts also have the same authority.

Therefore, it may eventually be determined that the Indian Constitution not only offers its inhabitants a variety of ways to freely enjoy their rights, but also a variety of ways to protect those rights. Additionally, it can be deduced that the Indian Constitution has created the nation's judicial framework and structure in such a delicate and exact way that it gives the higher judiciary a significant amount of power and authority for the protection of individuals' freedom and dignity, as well as for upholding the principles of democracy in their purest form.

  1. India Const. art. 32, 1.
  2. India Const. art. 32, 2.
  3. L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India, (1997) 3 SCC 261.
  4. India Const. art. 226, 1.

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