A writ petition can be filed in the High Court (Article 226) or
the Supreme Court (Article 32) of India when any of your fundamental
rights are violated. The jurisdiction with the High Court (Article
226) with regards to a writ petition is wider and extends to legal
Who Can Apply?
An application even when made by a stranger in a matter which the
Court deems that it is necessary to do so in furtherance of public
interest is allowed. In the landmark case of Chairman, Railway Board
vs. Chandrima Das
(2000) 2 SCC 465 the Calcutta High Court allowed
a practising advocate of the High Court at Calcutta to file a
petition on behalf of the Bangladeshi woman who was picked from the
railway station by the railway employees and was raped in a nearby
Railway Yatri Niwas.
The Apex Court upheld the locus standi of the
advocate to file the petition on her behalf and as the offence was
a gross violation of Fundamental Rights under Article 21 and as such
the petition was for a public interest.
The bidder or tenderer can challenge statements given arbitrarily by
the courts in contravention of statutory provisions and such rights
are always upheld. In the case of Cooverjee vs. Excise Commissioner
AIR 1954 SC 120 it was held that where the conduct of the officers
are not in accordance with the law or they act in excess of their
jurisdiction it would be open to a person who had bid at an auction
to approach the High Court under Article 226.
A petitioner may apply for a writ if the petitioner is able to
establish that an injury or damage of kind against which the statute
has been designed to give protection. However, a person interested in
spreading social education and responsible for promoting it cannot be
regarded to have the locus standi to maintain a petition for mandamus
against the government and thus it cannot be directed to the
government to set up a Social Education Board in accordance with the
statute so required. This was held in the case of Kalvan Mal vs.
State AIR 1972 Raj. 234.
A person who complains about infringement of his right to property
then the person must be able to establish his own title the property
and if his title is in dispute then he is ineligible to make such
applications. In order to invoke an application under this Article one
need not wait for carrying out the threat but may invoke this
article if he feels threatened.
In the case of Director General vs. Union AIR 1969 Cal.149 the
Calcutta High Court has categorically held that a collective body can
only appeal when the petitioner is a legal entity or otherwise
permitted by a statute to initiate legal proceedings in its own name
and is being affected by the impugned order as a collective body.
In the case of High Court of Madhya Pradesh vs. Mahesh Prasad 1995
(1) SCC 203 it was held that an appeal by the High Court on the
administrative side against the judgement of the High Court in a
writ petition on the judicial side is maintainable.
Against Whom A Writ Lies?
Article 226 of the Constitution of India permits the issue of orders,
directions or writs to any person or authority including any person
or authority including in appropriate cases any government.
Article 226 also takes into its ambit the power to issue writs
inter alia to any authority. In the case of Rajasthan Electricity
Board it was for the first time that an Electricity Board was
regarded as other authorities within the meaning of State under
Article 12 of the Constitution. However after the judgement given in
the International Airports Authority Case it has widened the term other
authorities even further which includes authorities created by a
statute even if the power was conferred for the purpose to carry out
In the case of Sukhdev Singh vs. Bhagatram
(1975) 1 SCC 421 the
Apex Court held that Natural Gas Commission, Life Insurance Corporation,
Finance Corporation are authorities within the meaning of Article 12
and further observed that power to make rules and regulations and to
administer and enforce them is deemed to be the elements of authority
contemplated within the meaning of Article 12. At present, it has
also been stated that even private institutions discharging public
functions has also come up to be regarded as state and such public
corporations too are deemed to be instrumentality of the state.
Whether Absolute Private Rights Can Be Enforced Through Article 226?
- M/S Ipjacket Technology India Pvt Ltd vs. M.D. Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya
Nirman Nigam Ltd. (2018) Allahabad High Court
The remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution being an extraordinary
remedy, it is not intended to be used for the purpose of declaring private
rights of the parties. In the case of enforcement of contractual rights and
liabilities the normal remedy of filing a civil suit being available to the
aggrieved party, the Court may not exercise its prerogative writ
jurisdiction to enforce such contractual obligations
- State of Manipur & Оrs vs. Moirangthem Chaoba Singh & Оrs.
(2005) Gauhati High Court
The court held that a writ of Mandamus does not lie for enforcement
of private rights, nor is it available for obtaining interim relief
till cross-claims between the parties are determined in arbitration
wherefrom such a provision is made in the contract itself. It is
axiomatic that relations between the parties in concluded non-statutory
contracts are governed by the terms and conditions thereof; and
rights and obligations of parties inter se are required to be decided
elsewhere. The relations are purely contractual and rights and
obligations are governed only by the contract. A writ does not lie
for enforcement of contractual rights.
Articles 17 and 23 of the Constitution as stated above, are not
directly enforceable against private persons, and require the state to
pass ordinary laws to create offenses that in tum are enforceable
against private persons. The unenforceability of fundamental rights
vis-a.-vis private persons do not in any way depreciate the
applicability of rights, but merely provides for a different mechanism
to enforce rights, i.e., through ordinary laws. Moreover, the
compulsion of courts to bring an entity within the definition of 'state'
under Article 12 of the Constitution, reiterates that fundamental
rights are only enforceable against the state.