Types of Writs Under the Indian Constitution

Types Of Writs Under The Indian Constitution

This article on ‘ Types Of Writs Under The Indian Constitution’ was written by Arpita Tiwari, an intern at Legal Upanishad.


Several authorities have been granted to the Supreme Court and the High Courts, which they employ to deliver justice to the general public. The constitution has given the courts many essential tools and powers, including the ability to grant writs.

Through this article, the author will discuss the definition of the writ, writs given under the Indian Constitution, the different kinds of writs, and their definition with case laws further the author will conclude the paper with references.


A writ is basically a formal legal order given by any governmental or judicial official with the appropriate authority. These days, this entity serves primarily as a court. A writ can be thought of as a formal written order given by a court with the power to do so. Writs include things like orders, warrants, directives, summonses, and more. A writ petition is a request made in writing to the appropriate court, asking it to grant a certain writ.


Supreme Court of India has the power to grant a writ under Article 32 of the Constitution. Whenever the fundamental rights of the individuals have been violated in that case he or she has the authority to directly file a petition to the Supreme Court preservation of their rights under Article 32, and the Court may grant the necessary Writ for doing so.

Under Article 226 High Courts of India also have the power to issue writs. Although individuals can only appeal to the Supreme Court when their basic freedoms are violated, they also have the option to appeal to the High Court for the issuance of Writs in other situations.

Types of Writs

Five different types of writs are particularly mentioned in articles 32 and 226. These writs are granted under various conditions and have various ramifications. As follows:


Literally, the phrase “to have a body of” is known as habeas corpus. This writ is used to free somebody who has been arrested or held against their will. The Court instructs the individual so arrested to be produced before it so that it can assess the validity of his confinement as a result of this writ. If the Court decides that the confinement was improper, it orders the individual’s rapid discharge.  Following are instances of wrongful detention:

  • The confinement was not carried out in line with the proper protocol. For instance, after being arrested, the individual was not brought in front of a magistrate within 24 hours.
  • The man was detained despite not breaking any laws.
  • Under the terms of an invalid statute, a suspect was arrested.

This writ guarantees prompt judicial examination of the prisoner’s purportedly wrongful imprisonment and prompt assessment of his freedom from confinement. Habeas corpus, though, cannot be given when an individual has been detained according to a judicial order, even if the command initially seems to be partially lawful or within the court’s purview.

The individual who is being arrested may seek this writ on his own behalf or on behalf of his family or friends. It may be used against both public officials and private citizens.

In the case of Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration, a co-convict wrote a letter to the Supreme Court requesting action against the mistreatment of the convicts. The Supreme Court took up this petition and granted the writ of habeas corpus, indicating that it might be used to prevent the convict from being unlawfully detained as well as to safeguard him from any abuse or inhumane cure on the part of the holding powers.


The Latin word for command is mandamus. It is issued by the judge to compel a public institution to fulfil duties that it has ignored or refused to perform. One may be directed at a public official, a public organization, a tribunal, subordinate courts, or the government. It can’t be issued against a Chief Justice who is currently in office, a private individual or organization, the President, or state governors. Moreover, it cannot be provided under the following conditions:

  • The obligation in issue is optional and not a legal requirement.
  • For the accomplishment of an unofficial task.
  • The exercise of responsibility involves exclusively private rights.
  • When following such a directive would mean breaking the law.
  • When there is another legal recourse provided.

A writ of mandamus is granted to ensure that public officials remain within their purview while performing their duties. Mandamus is intended to prevent unrest brought on by a lack of justice and must always be issued in situations when there is no clearly defined legal recourse. When a government or public authority has no legal obligation to act, it’s unable to be granted.

An individual in good conscience with a vested interest in the public authority doing its duties must file a writ petition for mandamus. In addition to having a legal basis for doing so, the individual requesting mandamus must have requested that the duty be performed but been rejected by the appropriate authorities.

The Land Acquisition Officer in the matter of All India Tea Trade Co. v. S.D.O. incorrectly denied paying the interest on the compensation amount. The Land Acquisition Officer was served with a writ of mandamus ordering him to reevaluate the request for the interest to be paid.

Types of Writs Under the Indian Constitution
Types of Writs Under the Indian Constitution


‘Quo Warranto’ is Latin for ‘by what warrant. Via this writ, the Court is asking for verification of the authority under which a person holding a public position occupies that office. If it is determined that the person is ineligible for the position, they might well be fired. Its objective is to prevent somebody from holding a position for which they’re ineligible, which makes it unlawful to take over any public office. It cannot be granted in connection with a private office.

Only under the following circumstances can the writ be issued:

  • The private individual erroneously assumes the official office.
  • The office was established by the constitution or law, and the incumbent is ineligible to hold it in accordance with those documents.
  • A perpetual tenure must be specified for the public position.
  • The obligations associated with the position must be open to the public.

Mr. K.N. Srivastava was nominated as a judge of the Gauhati High Court by the President of India by a warrant of appointment under his seal in the matter of Kumar Padma Padam Prasad v. Union of India. It was claimed in a petition for the issuance of a writ of quo-warranto that Mr. K.N. Srivastava was unqualified for the position. The Supreme Court ruled that quo warranto could be issued since Mr. K.N. Srivastava lacked the necessary qualifications, and as a result, the appointment of Mr. K.N. Srivastava was revoked.


It means to “confirm” in Latin. By a writ of certiorari, the Supreme Court may transmit a case to its own jurisdiction or vacate an order made by a lower court or tribunal if it believes that the decision was made outside of its authority or in violation of the law. The Supreme Court or High Court may grant a writ of certiorari to lower courts or tribunals in the following situations:

Whenever a lower court acts without jurisdiction or by claiming authority where none exists, when the lower court acts outside of its competence by moving outside or across the borders of authority, when a lower court behaves blatantly in breach of law or rules of method, or when a lower court breaches the natural justice principles where there is no specified method.


To prevent lower courts, tribunals, and other quasi-judicial organizations from operating beyond their authority, the judge can grant a writ of prohibition. It is granted to control passivity, in opposition to the mandamus, which directs movement.

It is given out when a subordinate court or tribunal goes outside its authority, in contradiction with natural justice principles, or when basic rights are violated. It may also be given when a subordinate court or tribunal exercises its authority in violation of another legislation.

The fact that they are granted at different phases of the court’s procedures distinguishes the writs of prohibition and certiorari. After the case has been considered and determined, a writ of certiorari is granted. Whenever a lower court made a judgement or issued an order that was outside its authority, it was ordered to set aside that judgment or ruling. While the case is pending before it, the lower court’s actions that go above or beyond its authority are prohibited by a writ of prohibition.


The five different forms of Writs—Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Quo Warranto, and Prohibition—are all efficient methods to uphold citizens’ legal rights and force government officials to carry out their legal obligations.


  1. Harashkarad, 5 Types of Writs in Indian Constitution, Retrieved: https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-9960-5-types-of-writs-in-indian-constitution.html
  2. Types of Writs in India, Retrieved: https://www.leadthecompetition.in/GKT/gktopics.html