What are writs? 5 writ issued by Supreme Court and High Court of India.

Writs are written orders from the Supreme Court or High Court commanding Indian Citizen’s constitutional remedies against violations of their fundamental rights.


An individual has the right to move the Supreme Court (under Article 32) directly in case of any violation of a Fundamental Right and the High Courts (under Article 226), and the Supreme Court and High Courts issue appropriate writs to enforce such rights. There are five types of warrants:

Habeas Corpus means ‘produce the body. By issuing such an order, the Court can require that an individual who may be a prisoner to be brought before it, to get knowledge of the rationale why he has been detained and to set him free if there is no lawful justification for his detention The writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be issued in the following cases:

1. When the person against whom the writ is issued is not within the jurisdiction of the Court.

2. To interfere with a proceeding for contempt by a court of record or by Parliament.

3. To secure the release of a person who has been imprisoned by a court of law on a criminal charge.

2 Mandamus means we command’. It is a command that may be issued to any lower court or any public or quasi-public authority, which has refused to perform its duty. It is a high prerogative writ of a most extensive remedial measure.




The Court may issue Mandamus:


(i) To compel any person to perform his public duty where duty is given to him by a Constitution or a statute.


(ii) To compel a court or judicial tribunal to exercise its jurisdiction when it has refused to use it.



(iii) To direct a public official or the government not to expose an unconstitutional law.


Mandamus will not be granted to the following persons:


• The President or the Governor of the State



• Mandamus does not lie against a private individual or body, whether incorporated or not, except where the state cooperates with such a private party.


3) Prohibition: The writ of the ban is issued by the Supreme Court or High Court to lower Court forbidding the latter to continue proceedings therein over its jurisdiction. The writ’s object is to compel the lower Court to keep themselves within the limits of their authority.


The difference between Mandamus and Prohibition is that Mandamus can be issued against any person’s government or judicial body, but Prohibition is issued only against legal and Quasi-Judicial authorities.


It is not available against Administrative Authorities: legislative Bodies, and private individuals or bodies.


4) Certiorari is a Latin word meaning “to be informed of, or to be certified.” The writ of certiorari is issued by the Supreme Court or any High Court for quashing the order passed by an inferior court, tribunal or quasi-judicial authority. The condition necessary for the issue of such writ is that a court, tribunal or officer merit have passed an order acting without jurisdiction or more than judicial authority vested by law in such court tribunal or offices. Thus, unlike Prohibition, which is merely preventive, certiorari is both preventive also as curative.



Till recently, the writ of certiorari might be issued only against judicial and Quasi-judicial Authorities and not against Administrative Authorities. However, in 1991, the Supreme Court ruled that the certiorari is often issued even against administrative authorities affecting people’s rights.


Like Prohibition, certiorari is additionally not available against legislative bodies and personal individuals or bodies.


The Prohibition and certiorari are both issued against courts or tribunals or quasi-judicial powers. Still, the Prohibition is available against at an earlier stage, but certiorari Prohibition is issued to prohibit the judicial open at a later stage on similar ground.


Certiorari is issued to quash the order or decision of judicial or quasi-judicial bodies.



Prohibition is available to prohibit judicial bodies from making ultra-virus orders.


Prohibition is available during the pendency of the proceedings, and before the order is made, certiorari can be issued only after the order has been made.


5. Quo Warranto means by what authority. “It may be a writ or order to anybody which occupies position or liberty which is asked to point out by what power he claims to be a position.


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