Meaning and Types of Writs






  1. Meaning of a Writ?

 A Writ is a formal written order issued by a government entity and this government entity is mostly the Court in the name of the  sovereign power. A warrant is also a type of writ. Article 32 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court to issue orders and writs to safeguard the fundamental rights guaranteed under part III of the Constitution of India.

The High Court is also empowered to issue writs in order to safeguard the fundamental rights under part III of the Constitution.


  1. Types of Writs-


There are five kinds of writs namely- Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition and Quo Warranto. They are explained below-


A)    Habeas Corpus-

 The Writ of habeas corpus is issued for an illegal detention of  a person. It is an order to produce before the Court the person who has been detained and the Court examines such person and if the detention is found illegal, the Court sets free such person hence protects the fundamental right to liberty of the person which was infringed by the illegal detention.

Petition for Habeas Corpus-

 According to the general rule, a Petition can only be filed by that  person who’s rights have been infringed but under Habeas Corpus, another person on behalf of the aggrieved can also file the Petition which is an exception to the rule.

B)    Mandamus-

 Mandamus means “we command” or “we order”. This writ is passed by the High Court or the Supreme Court to a public authority or a lower court to perform a public or statutory duty. The Supreme Court passes such writ in a situation when a duty is to be performed by the public authority, corporation or a lower Court and such duty is not performed by them.

C)    Certiorari-

 The writ of Certiorari is issued by the High Court or the Supreme Court to quash an order passed by the Court inferior to the High Court and the Supreme Court.

D)    Prohibition-

 The Writ of Prohibition is passed by the Supreme Court or the High Court to a lower Courts in order to prohibit them to do an act which is contrary to the principle of Natural Justice and beyond their authority to exercise. Anything exercised beyond the jurisdiction by the lower courts can be stopped by passing the writ of prohibition.

 E)    Quo Warranto-

 This writ is issued by the Supreme Court or the High Court to stop a person or restrain him from holding the office which he has no authority to hold. Before passing such writ the person is entitled to give an explanation to the Court that by what authority he hold such office. This writ is applicable only to public offices.






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