1. Introduction
  2. State the types of writs & the significance of them.
  3. Conclusion

Article 32 and 226 of the Indian Constitution provide for Right to Constitutional Remedies, for the enforcement of fundamental rights, which has been regarded as ― Heart and Soul‖ of Indian Constitution by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It is done by the higher judiciary through five kinds of writs.

The nature of these writs:

  • Habeas Corpus: Literally meaning to have the body, this writ is considered to be the bulwark of individual liberty‘ against illegal and unjustifiable detention. It can be filed by any person on behalf of the other person and can be issued against both public authorities and private individuals.
  • Certiorari: It means to ̳to certify or to inform‘ and is enforced against the decision of a sub-ordinate authority exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers, improperly. For example, the Supreme Court exercised Certiorari in A.K Karpiak v. U.O.I, in which selection process was quashed on the ground of bias.
  • Prohibition: It is issued by the court prohibiting the authority from continuing the proceedings if such authority has no power or jurisdiction to decide the case. It is an extraordinary prerogative writ of a preventive nature.
  • Mandamus: it is a judicial remedy which is in the form of an order from a superior court to any governmental agency, court or public authority to do or forbear from doing any specific act which that body is obliged to do under the law.
  • Quo Warranto: It literally means by what authority‘ and is issued against the person who occupies a public seat without any qualification for appointment.

Significance of these writs: Writs are crucial in the defence of fundamental rights; without them, Part III would be meaningless, because they give teeth to the rights. They are powerful checks against the excesses committed by the state as under article 12. Using them, judiciary has interpreted many other rights as inseparable adjuncts to other fundamental rights. For example, right to dignified life in Maneka Gandhi Case 1978. Powers of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the constitution are limited only to the enforcement of fundamental rights, whereas under article 226 High Court can exercise such powers for any other purpose also apart from the enforcement of fundamental rights.

The importance of writs lies in creating permissible areas of exercise of power, authority and jurisdiction over administrative actions enforced by any State. Thus writs as constitutional remedies operate as a check and keeps the administration of government within the bounds of law.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish October 12, 2022