What is Writ Jurisdiction of The Court?

 · 6 mins read

Introduction: As per common law, the formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction is called a writ. In India, the body which issues such writ is a court, which includes the Supreme Court and High Courts. The fundamental right and legal right of the affected person is enforced by it. A individual has the fundamental right to bring his or her complaint or grievance against any administrative action to the attention of the court. The most critical components of writ jurisdictions are the protection of fundamental rights and the guarantee of natural justice.

Writ Jurisdiction: Only the Supreme Court and the High Courts have the power to exercise writ jurisdiction. Article 32 gives the Supreme Court this authority, while article 226 gives it to the high courts. Part III of the constitution guarantees an individual the right to petition the Supreme Court for the protection of fundamental rights. Article 32(2) of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to issue directives, instructions, or writs in the form of Habeas Corpus, Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus, and Quo-warranto to uphold constitutional rights. Article 226 gives state high courts the authority to issue the above-mentioned directives, orders, or writs for the protection of fundamental rights and for ‘any other reason.’

Types of writs:

Habeas corpus: Habeas corpus is a Latin phrase that literally means “you have the body.” In cases of unlawful detention and imprisonment, this form of writ is used. The court will use this writ to order the detainee to appear in court and provide a legal explanation for their arrest or detention. They must show evidence that it is lawful, because the detainer bears the burden of proof, and he must also show proof of authority to do so. If the court determines that the detainee or prisoner has been unlawfully detained, the court may order the detainee or prisoner to be released.

Since it guarantees the right to life and liberty, the court has significantly broadened the scope of this writ. The court broadened the scope of the writ by ruling that the detainee may not have to be the petitioner. An involved party with a link to the case can also participate. It is also not necessary to bring the detainee before the judge.

Prohibition: The High Court issues a writ of prohibition to judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, prohibiting them from continuing with any trial that is outside of their jurisdiction. Only while the case is still ongoing will a writ of prohibition be issued. If a lower court or tribunal is found to have acted in excess of its authority, the court would grant a writ of prohibition regardless of whether an appropriate remedy is available.

Mandamus: Mandamus is a Latin word that means “to order,” and it is a writ that is granted to any person or authority that has been assigned a legal duty. A private individual or corporation with private responsibilities cannot be served with a mandamus. It can’t be used to implement a private contract, either. The authority is compelled to perform this task by this writ. Mandamus does not impose a new duty; rather, it forces the execution of an established one. The court, like the other prerogative writs, has assumed the responsibility of establishing the parameters for the submission of the writ of Mandamus. The writ of mandamus is a personal suit brought against someone who has failed to perform a legal duty. The applicant has the right to carry out the duty. It is not mandatory for the duty to be enforced by statute; mandamus may be used even if the duty is imposed by common law or tradition. Mandamus has a broad scope, and it must be accessible in the event of an injustice. It should not be overburdened with technicalities.

Quo warranto:

The writ is issued ordering subordinate authorities to prove under what authority they are holding the office. Quo warranto is the Medieval Latin word for “under what warrant.” A individual employed in a private sector is not eligible for the writ. This writ is granted to anyone in a position whose legality is being called into question. The position in question must be one that is open to the public. A private individual may apply for a writ of Quo Warranto. This person does not have to be directly affected or involved in the event.

Certiorari: Certiorari is a writ issued by the High Court to subordinate judicial or quasi-judicial bodies ordering them to move the records of a specific case in order to determine if the court has the authority to issue the order or if it violates natural justice principles. A writ of certiorari is a restraining order. The scope of the writ of certiorari:
• When there is a jurisdictional mistake.
• When the court fails to have enough time for all sides to be heard or when natural justice principles are violated.
• Since this writ is supervisory in nature, the High Court cannot review the lower courts’ decisions.
• If the error is obvious.

Difference between Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court and the Supreme Court

Article 32 of the Indian Constitution grants the Supreme Court the power to issue writs. Since the Supreme Court has limited powers when it comes to issuing writs, this authority is expanded in the case of High Courts. The distinction is as follows:
• Only when there is a violation of Fundamental Rights will the Supreme Court issue writs.
• The High Court has more flexibility in exercising this authority. They may issue writs in a variety of situations, not just when there is a violation of fundamental rights.

Conclusion: The judiciary, or law, is supreme in our country. The judicial review of administrative decisions is known as a writ jurisdiction. The judiciary is always on the lookout to ensure that all administrative actions are kept within the bounds of the law. Writ jurisdictions serve as judicial restrictions on policy actions that are arbitrary, unjust, or contrary to the public good.

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