It is one of the fundamental rights listed in the Constitution that each citizen is entitled. Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, or affirms the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution. It states that the Supreme Court “shall have 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”. The right guaranteed by this Article “shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution”.
The Article is included in Part III of the Constitution with other fundamental rights including to Equality, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Life and Personal Liberty, and Freedom of Religion. Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
The Constituent Assembly debated whether fundamental rights including this one could be suspended or limited during an Emergency. The Article cannot be suspended except during the period of Emergency.
Can High Courts be approached in cases of violation of fundamental rights?
Both the High Courts and the Supreme Court can be approached for violation or enactment of fundamental rights through five kinds of writs:
* Habeas corpus (related to personal liberty in cases of illegal detentions and wrongful arrests)
* Mandamus — directing public officials, governments, courts to perform a statutory duty;
* Quo warranto — to show by what warrant is a person holding public office;
* Prohibition — directing judicial or quasi-judicial authorities to stop proceedings which it has no jurisdiction for; and
* Certiorari — re-examination of an order given by judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative authorities.