Writ of Certiorari Meaning, Origin, Application and Important Case Laws

By | August 6, 2021

Last Updated on by Admin LB

This article on, “Writ of Certiorari” by Sahajpreet Bhusari explains that the writ of Certiorari is issued to quash the decision or order of the lower court when the lower court passed an order without or in excess of jurisdiction, along with its application and case laws.

Origin and Meaning

Certiorari is a legal maxim of Latin origin. It literally means ‘to be fully informed or to be made certain in regards to’[1].

Explanation and Application

The Writ of Certiorari is the decision of the Supreme Court to call / hear appeals from lower courts. It is a court order issued by a higher court or an appellate court to review the decisions made by the lower courts on legal processes or procedures.

Certiorari is seen as a general remedy for judicial control of quasi-judicial and administrative decisions that affect rights.

The Constitution of India authorizes the Supreme Court and High Court under Article 32 and Article 226 to issue writs to enforce the fundamental rights (Part III of the Indian Constitution).

The Apex Court and the High Courts shall instruct the lower courts, tribunals or authorities to transmit to the court the records of the disputes processed or pending and can even quash the same, if necessary.

The petition must include the list of all parties involved, the facts of the case, the legal issues to be reviewed, and the reason why the Supreme Court should approve the petition. By approving the petition and issuing the writ, the court agrees to hear the case.

However, it must be noted that a writ for certiorari can never be issued to require legal records or documents of an Act or Ordinance to repeal/ quash such Act or Ordinance.

Important Case Laws

In the case of Province of Bombay v. Khushaldas[2], it was held by the court that whenever any competent authority having the legal authority to decide on a matter affecting the rights of the parties exceeds the authority, the writ of certiorari lies.

In the case of Hari Vishnu Kamath v. Syed Ahmed Ishaaque & Ors.[3], it was held by the Supreme Court that an error in the decision or determination itself may also be amenable to a writ of certiorari but in order to invoke the same, it must be a manifest error evident on the face of the proceedings.


[1] B&B Associates, Certorari, Available Here

[2] AIR 1950 SC 22.

[3] AIR 1955 SC 233.

  1. Law Library: Notes and Study Material for LLB, LLM, Judiciary and Entrance Exams
  2. Legal Bites Academy – Ultimate Test Prep Destination
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