Law of Writs in Indian Constitution

Article 32 of the constitution says that the remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this Part
(1) The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed
(2) The Supreme Court shall have the power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part
(3) Without prejudice to the powers conferred on the Supreme Court by clause ( 1 ) and ( 2 ), Parliament may by law empower any other court to exercise within the local limits of its jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court under clause ( 2 )
(4) The right guaranteed by this article shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution.

So in short if the fundamental rights of a person are infringed then to get those rights enforced the writ can be filed in the Supreme Court. There are five types of writs –Habeas corpus, Quo warranto, Mandamus, Certiorari, and Prohibition.

Habeas Corpus- This is a Latin term which means that you may have the body. This is available when the person has been detained by an authority without giving any reasons as to the detention. In simple words, it is basically a remedy for a person who has been unlawfully detained. The custody of the person may be public custody or private custody.

Quo Warranto- ‘Quo Warranto’ means ‘by what warrant’. Through this writ, the Court calls upon a person holding a public office to show under what authority he holds that office. If it is found that the person is not entitled to hold that office, he may be ousted from it. Its objective is to prevent a person from holding an office to he is not entitled, therefore preventing usurpation of any public office. It cannot be issued with respect to a private office.

By using this writ, an officer or authority is asked by what mandate or warrant he is holding that office. It is a writ to prevent a person from holding an office to which he is not legally entitled to and obviously it would be a public office.

Mandamus -‘Mandamus’ means ‘we command’. It is issued by the Court to direct a public authority to perform the legal duties which it has not or refused to perform. It can be issued by the Court against a public official, public corporation, tribunal, inferior court, or the government. It cannot be issued against a private individual or body, the President or Governors of States, or against a working Chief Justices.

Certiorari – This is issued to the supreme court to the inferior court. This writ is quasi-judicial in nature. Here the superior court on valid grounds can quash the judgment given by the inferior court.

Prohibition – It directs the court to proceed with the jurisdiction in a case or usurping the jurisdiction.

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