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Types of Writs in the Constitution of India

Writs in Indian Constitution

»In common law, a writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction; in modern usage, this body is generally a courtWarrantsprerogative writs and subpoenas are common types of writ but many forms exist and have existed.
»In India, both Supreme Court and High Court have been empowered with Writ Jurisdiction. Further, Parliament by law can extend power to issue writs to any other courts (including local courts) for local limits of jurisdiction of such courts.
»Under the Article 32 of Constitution of India, anyone can move the Supreme Court of India for getting the relief when the individuals fundamental right is infringed by the State (as described under Article 13 of the Constitution) and not for any other right.
»As Writ jurisdiction is enjoyed only by the Supreme Court and High Courts under Article 32 and 226 of the Constitution, respectively.
»A writ petition can only be filed against the State and not against private individuals or organisation.
»A writ is issued by the court, in general, against the State. Under their writ jurisdiction Supreme Court and High Courts issue appropriate writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari, and Quo Warranto.

 List of Writs issued by Supreme and High Courts of India

Writ Name
Purpose of the Writ
Habeas Corpus
You may have the body
To release a person who has been detained unlawfully whether in prison or in custody
We Command
To secure the performance of public duties by lower court, tribunal or public authority
To be certified 
To quash the order already passed by an inferior court, tribunal or quasi judicial authority
The act of stopping something
To prohibit an inferior court from continuing the proceedings in a particular case where it has no jurisdiction to try
Quo Warranto 
What is your Authority
To restrain a person from holding a public office to which he is not entitled

SC issues 5 types of writs:

1.Writ of Habeas Corpus

This writ is used to protect individual's liberty. It is issued when a person is detained illegally and wrongfully. This writ can be filed before the court by any individual or organisation, not necessarily the aggrieved individual. This writ can be issued by the court both against the State and individual. Habeas Corpus literally means 'to have the body' i.e. physically producing the person whose detention is questioned before the court in order to enable the court to ascertain the grounds of detention. However, if all the material facts relating to the detention of the person are made available to the court, the court may not insist upon the physical production of detained person. When the court finds the detention illegal or unlawful, it will order the release of the person henceforth.

2.Writ of Mandamus

This petition can be filed before the court only by the aggrieved individual. It can be filed only when the legal right of the person is violated. Private rights can't be enforced through the petition of Mandamus. It can be issued by a court only against a public authority or a person holding a public office. It cannot by issued against an individual or private organisation. It is issued when a public authority or officer is charged with a legal duty and he/she has failed to perform the duty which has resulted in the violation of a legal rights of the petitioner. Mandamus literally means 'command', therefore when it is issued it commands a public authority or officer to do or not to do something which is in the nature of his/her public duty. This writ can't be issued against President and Governors.

3.Writ of Prohibition

This writ can be issued only against a judicial or quasi-judicial body and not against non-judicial bodies. This petition can be filed only by the aggrieved individual. This writ is issued when a judicial/quasi-judicial body takes up a case for hearing in excess or in absence of its jurisdiction. The purpose of the court is to prohibit the judicial/quasi-judicial body from proceeding further with the case. (Here judicial/quasi-judicial bodies could be lower courts, tribunals, for example.)

4.Writ of Certiorari

It is similar to above writ in all respect except that it is issued after a judicial/quasi-judicial body has completed a trial of a case and pronounced it judgement/direction/order in excess or in absence of its jurisdiction. Thus the purpose of the writ is to quash or nullify the judgement/direction/order issued by such a judicial/quasi-judicial body.

5.Writ of Quo Warranto

This writ can be issued only against a person holding a public office in order to ensure that a public office is not usurped by a person who is not qualified to hold the office. This petition can be filed by any person. When this writ is issued, it has the effect of removal of the person from public office with immediate effect.
E.g. U. N. Rao vs Indira Gandhi, 1971. In this petition the appellant had prayed that a writ of qua warranto be issued to the respondent, Smt. Indira Gandhi, and it be declared that the respondent has no constitutional authority to the office of and to function as Prime Minister of India. The petition was dismissed by the court and no such writ was issued against Smt. Indira Gandhi.

Frequently asked:
What is writs in Indian Constitution?
The Constitution broadly provides for five kinds of "prerogative" writs: habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus, quo warranto and prohibition. A Writ is a formal written order issued by a Court.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 right is violated.

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