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Writ Petition

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What is the meaning of the term Writ Petition?

The term Writ Petition means a written order passed by a court of higher authority to a lower court. Further, a writ petition is issued whenever there is a violation of the fundamental rights of any citizen. Also, according to the Indian Constitution, the Hon’ble High Court holds the right and authority to issue the writ under Article 226. Whereas the Hon’ble Supreme Court has the power to issue the writ under Article 32 against the decision of any court or individual lower as per their jurisdiction.

Moreover, both the Article concerned specifies the rules, types of Writ, and the procedures to be followed by the petitioner whenever there is a violation of any of the fundamental rights bestowed upon a citizen.

What are the Types of Writs that can be filed in the Court?

In total, five types of writs can be filed by an individual or the aggrieved person. The following listed are the five types of writs –

  • Writ of Habeas Corpus
  • Writ of Mandamus
  • Writ of Prohibition
  • Writ of Certiorari
  • Writ of Quo Warranto

Circumstances under which a Writ Petition can be Filed?

Writ petition is normally filed whenever there is a contravention or violation of fundamental rights, or any injustice is served to any individual or aggrieved person. Further, writ is basically a remedial measure that is provided by the Indian constitution against the authority regulating and administering law and order in the country. The following listed are the circumstances in which an individual or an aggrieved person can file a Writ Petition –

  • To help or assist citizens in defending their rights against the court orders.
  • To provide an alternative to the aggrieved person when an impugned order is not objected by the appeals filed to the higher authorities in the legal system.
  • To ensure that justice is served and not denied.

Who is eligible to file a Writ Petition?

The following listed are the individuals who are eligible to file a writ petition - 

  • Any aggrieved person or individual whose fundamental rights are being violated or infringed is eligible to file a writ petition.
  • In the case of the writ of Habeas Corpus, any individual other than the aggrieved person can also file the petition on behalf of the aggrieved person.
  • In contrast, in the case of Quo Warranto, any individual or person can file the concerned writ petition irrespective of his right being infringed or not.

Where can a Writ Petition be filed?

According to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, a writ petition can be filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. However, it is noteworthy to note that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has the power to issue a writ only if the concerned petitioner proves that his Fundamental Right has been infringed. Moreover, the Apex Court is not conferred with the right to issue a writ against any administrative verdict or decision, which is in contravention or violation of the ordinary law.

Further, it is pertinent to note that the right to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of any infringement of Fundamental Right is in itself a Fundamental Right provided under Part III of the Constitution. 

Furthermore, according to Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, an aggrieved person or an individual can file a petition under any High Court within whose local jurisdiction the cause of action had arisen, either wholly or in part. Also, it is immaterial if the authority against whom the said writ petition is filed is within the court’s jurisdiction or not.

Lastly, it is noteworthy to note that in the case of Habeas Corpus, the Hon’ble High Court is not eligible to issues the said writ the concerned person is detained somewhere outside its jurisdiction.

Is the Power of the High Court wider than the Supreme Court?

Yes, the power and authority granted to the High Court by our Indian Constitution regarding the issuance of a writ is much wider than the Supreme Court of India.

The wider authority includes the power to issue a writ for the enforcement of fundamental rights of a citizen or for any other purpose like the violation of any of the statutory duties by a statutory authority.

Is there a need to file a Writ Petition in a High Court first?

No, it is not at all necessary to first file the petition in the High Court, and only after that, one can approach the Supreme Court.

However, it is relevant to note that if in case a writ petition is filed directly to the Supreme Court, the petitioner has to prove as to why the High Court was not approached by him or her first.

What are the steps involved in the procedure to file a Writ Petition in the High Court?

The following listed are the steps involved in the procedure to file a writ petition in the High Court –

  • In the first step, the concerned individual or the aggrieved person is required to ascertain whether the said cause of action is remedial or not by the issuance of a writ.
  • After that, in the next step, the aggrieved person needs to file a petition either himself or with the assistance of a lawyer. In this step, he is also required to annex all the required documents, affidavit, and the prayer.
  • Further, in the third step, the petition drafted is then needed to be filed at the filing counter of the respective High Court.
  • After filing, the person will be allotted with a future date. On this date, the matter will be considered by the court.
  • Also, on the date of consideration, the concerned aggrieved person or the lawyer hired will plead the matter. However, it is relevant to note that the said High Court has the authority to either accept or dismiss the petition.
  • If in case the petition filed is admitted by the court, then a notice on behalf of the court will be sent to the opposite party, and after that, the next date of hearing (DOH) will be provided by the court.
  • Lastly, on the said date of hearing, all the contents and issues are well discussed and settled, and the Court may grant relief as it deems appropriate.

What are the steps involved in the procedure to file a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court?

The steps involved in the process to file a Writ Petition in the Apex Court is the same as of a High Court.

Things to remember regarding a Writ Petition

The following listed are the things that an aggrieved person must take into consideration while going for the option of a writ petition –

  • In the case of dismissal, no fresh petition with the same cause of action is allowed to be filed.
  • Always consult a lawyer for filing a petition in the court.
  • Never ever file a vexatious or a frivolous petition.

What Do We Help You With?

  • Contact us with your issue, and we shall assist you in deciding if it is appropriate as per the subject matter to approach the High Court or the Supreme Court by way of a Writ Petition.
  • We will assist you to in the filing of the Writ Petition and the required documents as prescribed in the Rules.
  • A case manager shall be assigned to you, who will be your point of contact during the entirety of the hearing.
  • At every stage of the trial, till its finality, you shall be notified of the updates of the case.
  • We shall keep track of the lawyer assigned to you so that you face no troubles.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Is Company Eligible to File a Writ Petition?

    It has been held by the Apex Court in various judgments that a company (even though it is not a citizen) is eligible to file a petition under Article 19 of the Constitution of India by way of its shareholders who are themselves a citizen of India and whose rights under Article 19 are being affected by the action against such company.

  • 2. What is the difference between a Writ Petition and Appeal?

    A writ petition is filed in order to protect both the fundamental and constitutional rights in India. In contrast, an appeal is basically a motion filed before a Higher judge on which a judge of a lower court has passed an order, and such an order passed is unsatisfactory to the aggrieved person filing the appeal. Hence, he or she files appeal in a higher court.

  • 3. What is the meaning of the term Mandamus?

    The term Mandamus means “we command”. This writ is basically a command issued by the court to a public body, public official, corporation, lower court, tribunal, or the government directing them to perform their duties and responsibilities which they have refused to perform. Hence, the writ of mandamus, therefore, demands an activity and sets the concerned authority in action

  • 4. Is the writ of Quo Warranto used for the performance evaluation?

    No, the writ of Quo warranto is used to check an individual’s legal right to hold a public office, and not to evaluate the office performance of that individual.

  • 5. Can one file the writ of Habeas Corpus on behalf of someone?

    Yes, once can file the writ petition of habeas corpus of behalf of someone else. Moreover, most of the time, this writ is being filed either by the next friends or the relatives of the person detained.

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