Writ Jurisdiction for Supreme Court


Status as on- 20/07/2023 


According to common law, a writ is the formal written order given by a body with administrative or judicial power. A court, including the Supreme Court and High Courts, in India is the entity that issues such writs. It upholds both the affected person’s legal and basic rights. A person has the fundamental right to lodge a complaint or grievance to the court regarding any administrative action. The protection of fundamental rights and the assurance of natural justice are the two most important aspects of writ jurisdictions.

Articles 12-35 of the Indian Constitution give a number of essential rights to every citizen. Fundamental rights must also be protected; simply providing them is insufficient. Therefore, a remedy is provided for the protection of fundamental rights under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, which gives the Supreme Court the authority to issue writs when any citizen’s basic rights are violated. The prerogative writs are the name given to the writs issued in India.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court ruled in the case of L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India, 1997, that the Supreme Court’s power to issue writs to Indian citizens in order to uphold their fundamental rights is a component of the basic structure concept and, as a result, that this power can never be modified or eliminated.


There are total five types of writs:

  • Habeas Corpus: It is a Latin word that means “to produce the body”. For instance, if a person is being held unlawfully, the court may issue a writ of habeas corpus requiring the corpse to be brought within 24 hours so that they have an opportunity to prove their innocence. He should be released if it turns out that he is innocent. Otherwise, he will be imprisoned.
  • Prohibition: The High Court awards judicial and quasi-judicial organizations a writ of prohibition forbidding them from carrying on with any trial that is outside of their purview. A writ of prohibition will only be issued while the lawsuit is still open for filing. Regardless of whether an adequate remedy is available, the court would give a writ of prohibition if it were determined that a lower court or tribunal had acted outside of its power.
  • Mandamus: Mandamus is the Latin word for “command.” Neither a private person nor a business may receive it. The higher courts issue writs of mandamus to oversee public employees and assess whether they are properly carrying out their responsibilities. If they don’t, they are told to complete their assignment or modify their behavior.
  • Quo Warranto: A writ is issued requiring subordinate officials to demonstrate the authority under which they maintain their positions. Quo warranto is a Mediaeval Latin phrase that means “under what warrant.” A person working in the private sector is ineligible for the writ. Anyone in a position whose legitimacy is being questioned may get this writ. The job in question must be available to the general public. A writ of Quo Warranto may be requested by an unincorporated person. This individual need not be personally impacted by or involved in the incident.
  • Certiorari: The Latin word certiorari, means “certified,” This writ may be issued by the High Court or Supreme Court against a lower court or tribunal in order to refer the case to another more authoritative authority for thorough review. In other words, it is an appeal from that court or a review of the decision made by the lower court.

According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court has extensive original jurisdiction to defend basic rights. It has the authority to issue these writs, as well as writs to carry them out. The High Courts have the ability to order the transfer of any civil or criminal case from one State High Court to another State High Court or from a Court Subordinate to another State High Court (in cases of High Courts) in the cases of the Supreme Court and subordinate courts.

If the Supreme Court determines that cases involving the same or substantially the same legal questions are pending before it and one or more High Courts or before two or more High Courts and that these questions are significant questions of general importance, it may withdraw the case or cases currently before the High Court or High Courts and resolve all such cases itself. The High Courts likewise have the same jurisdiction to forward cases now before subordinate courts.

Provisions under Article 32 of The Indian Constitution of India

Part III of the Indian Constitution contains Article 32, which enables anyone to petition the Supreme Court when their fundamental rights have been violated. The Indian Constitution’s founder, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, famously remarked that “Article 32 is the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution.” The power given to the supreme court under this article are:

  1. The Supreme Court has the authority to relax the locus standi and allow Indian individuals to file public interest litigation (PIL). Bonded laborers, inmates awaiting trial, victims of extrajudicial killings, etc. may receive remedy from the Supreme Court.
  2. Additionally, the Supreme Court has the authority to award exemplary damages.
  • Rudul Shah’s fundamental rights were violated in the case of Rudul Sah v. the State of Bihar because the state had wrongfully arrested him. The state must therefore pay Rudul Shah exemplary damages, the Supreme Court said.
  1. Any of the fundamental rights may be enforced through writs or orders issued by the Supreme Court.
  2. Only the President of India has the authority to suspend the rights of anyone seeking redress when a national emergency is declared in the nation (Article 359).

The Supreme Court’s largest ever 13-judge panel decided in the case of Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala (1973) that Article 32 is a component of the basic structural doctrine and is therefore outside the scope of the parliament’s ability to change it.


Therefore, it might be found that the Indian Constitution provides its citizens with a range of options to both freely enjoy and preserve their rights. Additionally, it can be inferred that the Indian Constitution delicately and precisely crafted the country’s judicial framework and structure, giving the higher judiciary a sizable amount of power and authority for defending peoples’ freedom and dignity as well as for upholding the fundamental tenets of democracy.

Disclaimer: The above article is based on the personal interpretation of the related orders and laws. The readers are expected to take expert opinions before relying upon the article. For more information, please contact us at ibc@centrik.in

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