What is the meaning of Waiver?
Giving up a claim or a right that can be lawfully exercised. However, there can
be no waiver of a fundamental right.
What is Writ?
A writ is a direction that the Court issues, which is to be obeyed by the
authority/person to whom it is issued.
What is Writ Petition?
A petition seeking issuance of a writ is a writ petition. Pits in the first
instance in the High Courts and the Supreme Court are writ petitions.
What is writ of habeas corpus?
A writ of habeas corpus is issued to
an authority or person to produce in court a person who is either missing or
kept in illegal custody. Where the detention is found to be without authority of
law, the Court may order compensation to the person illegally detained.
What is Writ of Mandamus?
A writ of mandamus is a direction to an authority to either do or refrain from
doing a particular act. For instance, a writ to the Pollution Control Board to
strictly enforce the Pollution Control Acts. For a mandamus to be issued, it
must be shown:
a) That the authority was under obligation, statutory or otherwise to act in a
b) that the said authority failed in performing such obligation;
c) that such failure has resulted in some specific violation of a fundamental
right of either the petitioner or an indeterminate class of persons.
What is writ of certiorari?
A writ of certiorari is a direction to an authority to produce before the Court
the records on the basis of which a decision under challenge in the writ
petition has been taken. By looking into those records, the Court will examine
whether the authority applied its mind to the relevant materials before it took
the decision. If the Court finds that no reasonable person could come to the
decision in question, it will set aside (quash) that decision and give a further
direction to the authority to consider the matter afresh.
What is Writ of Prohibition?
A writ of prohibition issues to
prevent a judicial authority subordinate to the High Court from exercising
jurisdiction over a matter pending before it. This could be on the ground that
the authority lacks jurisdiction and further that prejudice would be caused if
the authority proceeds to decide the matter. Where the authority is found to be
biased and refuses to rescue, a writ of prohibition may issue.
What is Writ of Quo Warranto?
A petition seeking a writ of quo warranto questions the legal basis and
authority of a person appointed to public office. For instance, the appointment
of a member of a Public Service Commission not qualified to hold the post can be
questioned by a writ of quo warranto and appointment nullified if found to be
A writ of declaration issues to declare an executive, legislative or quasi-
judicial act to be invalid in law. For instance, a court could declare S. 81 of
the Mental Health Act, 1987 that permits use of mentally ill patients for
experimentation to be violative of the fundamental rights of the mentally ill
and therefore illegal and void. A petition seeking such declaratory relief must
also necessarily seek certain consequential reliefs. For instance, immediate
discontinuance of the illegal practice and appropriate remedial compensation.
These apart, a writ petition could seek other writs, orders and directions which
the Court may fashion in response to the facts placed before it.