What is writ petition under article 32 and 226 of constitution of india

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article

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A writ petition is a legal instrument used to seek remedy or relief from a court when an individual’s fundamental rights are violated or when there is a grievance against a governmental or public authority. In the Indian legal system, writ petitions can be filed under Article 32 and Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

  1. Article 32: This article empowers the Supreme Court of India to issue writs, including habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari, for the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Article 32 is often referred to as the “heart and soul” of the Constitution because it provides a direct and effective remedy for the protection of fundamental rights. Writ petitions filed under Article 32 are heard and decided by the Supreme Court.
  2. Article 226: This article empowers the High Courts of India to issue writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights as well as for any other purpose. The High Courts can issue the same writs as the Supreme Court under Article 32, but they also have broader jurisdiction to issue writs for purposes other than the enforcement of fundamental rights. Writ petitions filed under Article 226 are heard and decided by the respective High Courts.

In both Article 32 and Article 226, writs can be issued for various purposes, including:

  • Habeas Corpus: A writ that directs a person or authority holding another person to produce the detained individual before the court and justify the detention.
  • Mandamus: A writ that commands a public official or body to perform a duty that is legally required but has not been performed.
  • Prohibition: A writ that prevents a lower court or tribunal from exceeding its jurisdiction or acting beyond its authority.
  • Quo Warranto: A writ that questions the legality of a person holding a public office or position and seeks to remove them if they are not entitled to hold that office.
  • Certiorari: A writ that is issued to quash the decision of a lower court or tribunal if it is found to be erroneous or beyond its jurisdiction.

Writ petitions are powerful legal tools that can be used to safeguard individual rights, ensure accountability of public authorities, and uphold the rule of law.