Power of Writs under Indian Constitution

The Supreme Court of India has been acknowledged as the “Guardian” of Indian Constitution and this legacy has been endowed to it because of the power of writs bequeathed with it and the High Courts. A Writ fundamentally means “a command” given by the court of law to people of all the levels in the nation to do or not to do certain acts.

Article 32 and 226 deliver the power of issuing writs to the Supreme Court of India and High Courts respectively. When any fundamental right of any citizen is dishonored, then he or she possess the right to directly approach the Supreme court or High court for the implementation of his/her rights.

Kinds of Writs

5 kinds of writs have been exemplified in the Indian Constitution-

  1. Habeas Corpus
  2. Quo Warranto
  3. Prohibition
  4. Certiorari
  5. Mandamus

Habeas Corpus:

It is issued with an objective to relief any individual who has been illegally arrested or imprisoned. The literal connotation of the term “Habeas Corpus” is “to have a body”. Through Habeas Corpus, Supreme Court/High Court commands one person who has detained another person to get the body of the latter before the court. The Supreme Court or High Court can issue this writ against both private and public authorities. The Court entails the detaining person to deliver the grounds on which the person has been detained and if he fails to provide a valid ground, the person who has been detained will be released by the Court immediately. This Writ is very important for the personal liberty of the citizens because if this Writ is not provided by the Constitution a person can be unlawfully restrained or detained by any authority and it will be a clear violation of the personal liberty of the citizens.

Quo Warranto

The word quo warranto means what is your authority. The writ of quo warranto is used to judicially regulate executive act in the substance of making arrangements to public offices under germane statutory provisions. The writ is also used to shield a national from the holder of a public office to which he has no right. It can be dispensed against offices shaped by the constitution such as the Advocate-General, the speaker of legislative assembly, officers under the municipal act, members of a local government board, University officials and teachers, but it will not issue in contradiction of the managing committee of a private school which is not appointed under the authority of a statue.


The Writ of prohibition means to prohibit or to stop and it is prevalently known as ‘Stay Order’. This writ is dispensed when a lower court or a body attempts to disobey the limits or powers consigned in it. It is issued when the lower court or tribunal acts without or in superfluous of jurisdiction or in violation of guidelines of natural justice or in infringement of fundamental rights. It can also be delivered when a lower court or tribunal acts under a decree that is itself ultra vires.


Mandamus is a Latin term, which basically means “We Command”. Mandamus is an order from the Supreme Court or High Court to a lower court or tribunal or public authority to execute a public or statutory duty. It lies when public authority has botched to do his duty. This writ does not lie against private personages. Mandamus is necessary to be issued when the office is unoccupied.


Certiorari means to be certified. The writ of certiorari can be dispensed by the Supreme Court or any High Court for suppressing the order already approved by a substandard court, tribunal or quasi-judicial authority. Certiorari is a remedial writ. A mistake of law which is ostensible on the face of the record can be corrected by a writ, but not an error of fact. However, if a finding of fact is based on ‘no evidence’ that would be considered as an error of law which can be corrected by certiorari.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

You may also like to read:

Right to Private Defence – Part 2 – Aishwarya Sandeep

Media, the Fourth Estate – Aishwarya Sandeep

Role of Academic Discipline – Part 2 – Aishwarya Sandeep

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