What is Writ of Certiorari?

By | June 12, 2021
Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series

Question: What is the Writ of Certiorari? [RJS 1986]

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Answer

The Supreme Court has been empowered to issue writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari and quo warranto for protecting the fundamental rights [article 32(2)]. Similar power has been conferred on the High Court under Article 226 of the constitution.

Certiorari means “to certify”. A writ of certiorari (cert.) is an order of an appeal or appellate court ‘directing a lower court to deliver the record in the case for review. In other words, it is a writ which is issued by the High Court to subordinate judicial or quasi-judicial bodies directing them to transfer the records of a particular case in order to ascertain whether the court has the jurisdiction to give the order or whether it is against the principles of natural justice. A writ of certiorari is corrective in nature.

In Hari Vishnu Kamath v. Ahmad Ishaque [AIR 1955 SC 233], the Supreme Court stated the following four propositions were stated by the Court:

  • Certiorari will be issued for correcting errors of jurisdiction;
  • Certiorari will also be issued when the Court or Tribunal acts illegally in the exercise of it undoubted jurisdictions, as when it decides without giving an opportunity to the parties to be heard or violates the principles of natural justice;
  • The Court issuing a writ of certiorari acts in exercise of a supervisory and not appellate jurisdiction. One consequence of this is that the Court will not review findings of fact reached by the inferior Court or Tribunal, even if they be erroneous;
  • An error in the decision or determination itself may also be amenable to a writ of certiorari if it is a manifest error apparent on the face of the proceedings, e.g., when it is based on clear ignorance or disregard of the provisions of law In other words, it is a patent error which can be corrected by certiorari but not a mere wrong decision.”

Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X

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