Under Article 32, the Supreme Court and, under Article 226, the High Court, can issue five writs:
1. Habeas Corpus
- It is an order issued by the court, to the person who has detained another person, to produce the latter before it. If the detention is found as illegal, the detained person would be set free.
- This writ can be issued against both the public authorities as well as private individuals.
- It is a command issued by the court to a public official, asking him to perform his duties, in case he has failed to perform the same.
- It can be issued against any public authority, corporation, inferior court, tribunal, or government.
- It can be issued by a higher court to a lower court or tribunal, to prevent it from exceeding its jurisdiction or seizing a jurisdiction it does not have.
- This writ can be issued only against judicial and quasi-judicial authorities.
- It can be issued by a higher court to a lower court or tribunal, to transfer a case pending with the lower court to itself, or to squash the order of the lower court in that case.
- It can be issued against judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative authorities.
- It is issued by the court to inquire into the legal claim of a person regarding his usurpation of a public office.
- It can be issued only against public office of a permanent character, created by statute or by the Constitution.
- It can be sought by any interested person, and not necessarily by an aggrieved person.
Under Article 32, any other court can be empowered by the Parliament, to issue these writs.
These writs have been borrowed from the English law, where they are known as ‘prerogative writs’.
The writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court differs from the writ jurisdiction of the High Court in the following ways:
|Supreme Court||High Court|
|1. It can issue writs only for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.||It can issue writs for the enforcement of the fundamental rights as well as ordinary legal rights.|
|2. It can issue writs against a person or the government throughout the territory of India.||It can issue writs against a person or government or authority located within its territorial jurisdiction only, or outside its territorial jurisdiction only in case the action arises within its territorial jurisdiction.|
|3. The remedy under Article 32 is non-discretionary.||The remedy under Article 226 is discretionary.|
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