Writ of Mandamus by Anju Esther Balakrishnan at LEXCLIQ.

A superior court issues a writ of mandamus against an inferior court, a governmental entity, or an officer to correct past conduct or failure to act along the lines of the responsibility that they are entitled to. Public corporations and courts can likewise be served with a Writ of Mandamus.

Mandamus is remedial in nature and cannot be expressed as a writ of right as it is issued only at the discretion of the court after the applicant of the same can prove to the Court that some utilitarian or just question would be answered by the writ. The following are the essential grounds for issuing a Mandamus:

  • There seems to be a legally recognized right of the petitioner or applicant for the writ, and this right has been violated or compromised.
  • A violation of an applicant’s rights by a public authority can take place by crossing the line between the powers and responsibilities entrusted to their position, failure or omission to act responsibly by the legal requirements for exercising their power, an official or authority’s refusal to carry out their statutory duties and a blatant disregard for or violation of natural justice norm.
  • Failure to act or perform a legal duty despite the applicant’s demand for such.
  • The writ should be applied for in good faith, with no hidden agenda or intent on the applicant’s behalf.
  • The writ of mandamus can only be given if the applicant has exhausted all other avenues of recourse, redress, or legal remedies.

Under Article 32 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court of India has been given the authority to issue writs. The writ of mandamus cannot be used to enforce governmental policy, but it can be used to challenge a statute that violates a basic right. Mandamus can execute any executive or statutory order if it is made by the law.
Within Indian jurisprudence, there are three different sorts of Mandamus.

Certiorarified mandamus

The main distinction between certiorari and mandamus is that the former allows for judicial review of a matter that has previously been tried by a lower court and determines if a jurisdiction has been exceeded while the latter considers whether a jurisdiction has been denied right to exercise. If Certiorari is granted, the order of the lower court or tribunal is nullified, however,  the writs of certiorari and mandamus complement one other in certain cases

Anticipatory mandamus

In numerous cases, both in India and elsewhere, courts of law have held that the mere threat of having one’s statutory or fundamental rights violated, or an anticipatory omission of a public authority’s duties or responsibilities, are insufficient grounds for granting the issuance of a writ of mandamus.

Continuing mandamus

In some situations, the court of law may determine that just issuing a writ of mandamus is insufficient to exact the work from the public authority, and that continuous monitoring of the situation is required to ensure that the verdict is properly carried out.

As a result, the writ of mandamus can be accurately regarded as a legal tool for defending the general public’s interests, as well as the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and other laws of the land. It is also a useful instrument for holding state or public officials accountable and requiring them to follow their constitutional and statutory commitments. As a result, the writ of mandamus is fundamentally a pro-democratic device that allows ordinary people to have their rights enforced by administrative organizations.

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