Article 226 of Indian Constitution

Article 226 of Indian Constitution

A crucial clause in the Indian Constitution, Article 226 of Indian Constitution gives Indian High Courts the authority to grant specific writs. This article is an important resource for upholding the law and safeguarding fundamental rights. This is a thorough examination of Article 226 and all of its ramifications.

Article 226 of Indian Constitution | Overview

Enshrined in Part V of the Indian Constitution, Article 226 gives the High Courts the authority to grant writs to any person or authority, including the government, in the form of prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, certiorari, or any combination of these. High Courts in India are empowered by Article 226 of Indian Constitution to uphold any of the fundamental rights that are outlined in Part III of the Indian Constitution, 1949, or for any other purpose.

Each High Court within the territorial jurisdiction of India is empowered by Article 226(1) to grant writs, orders, and instructions to any person or authority, including the government, for the enforcement of Part III of the Indian Constitution, basic fundamental rights, and other legal rights that fall under its purview.

In situations where the cause of action is entirely or partially within their local jurisdiction, the High Courts may issue orders, instructions, and writs to any government authority or individual outside of their local jurisdiction. This power is granted by Article 226(2), even though the government or authority’s seat or the individual’s residence is not within the territory. 

Types of writs available under Article 226

  • Habeas Corpus

The meaning of this Latin expression is “to have a body or to produce a body.” The most potent and frequently used writ is this one. For instance, if someone is being wrongfully detained by the government, they, along with their loved ones, may file a writ of habeas corpus to be freed. When the Supreme Court or the High Court exercises this writ, questions the State regarding the rationale behind the person’s detention. The individual is released from custody right away if the basis is determined to be illogical. The detainee must appear in court so that the validity of the arrest can be determined. This is the court’s order. This writ’s principal goal is to release an individual who has been wrongfully arrested or imprisoned. Because it establishes a person’s right to freedom and personal liberty, this writ is essential. 

    • Rudul Sah v. State of Bihar (1983): In this instance, an individual who had already completed their sentence was unjustly detained for an extra fourteen years. Using the writ of habeas corpus, the defendant was swiftly released from custody and awarded exemplary damages.
    • Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration (1980): It was decided in this case that a writ petition for habeas corpus may be filed to challenge not only the unlawful or improper detention of the prisoner but also to shield him from discrimination or mistreatment by the government agency in charge of his custody. Consequently, it is possible to file a petition for wrongful detention and have the circumstances surrounding the detention looked into.
    • Nilabati Behra v. the State of Orissa (1993): In this instance, the Orissa police dragged the petitioner’s son away for questioning. Efforts to locate him were ineffective. A habeas corpus writ petition was consequently submitted to the court. The petitioner’s son’s body was found on a railroad track while the case was pending. A sum of Rs. 1,50,000 was granted as compensation to the petitioner.
  • Mandamus

It’s a Latin expression that means “we command.” It is a kind of directive that courts, universities, statutory and non-statutory organizations, and other bodies can use to carry out their public duties. A public official may be forced to perform their assigned duties by using this writ. There must only be a public duty to use this writ. Any authority can be ordered to fulfill their public obligations by using the writ of mandamus. It’s a directive or order that requires an individual, an organization, a subordinate court, or the government to carry out their legally mandated duties. Any person who has the legal right to enforce the performance of a public obligation and has been injured by its breach or abuse may petition a High Court or Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus.

    • Hemendra Nath Pathak v. Gauhati University (2008): In this instance, the petitioner filed a writ of mandamus against his educational institution, claiming that it had failed him even though he had met the requirements for graduation according to the university’s statutory standards. A writ of mandamus was issued and the university was ordered to declare him pass by university policies.
    • Sharif Ahmad v. HTA., Meerut (1977): The petitioner in this case petitioned the Supreme Court to have the tribunal’s orders enforced because the respondent disregarded them. A mandamus ordering the respondent to follow the tribunal’s orders was issued by the Supreme Court.
    • SP Gupta v. Union of India (1981): In this instance, the court found that it was not possible to serve the Indian president with a writ ordering him to ascertain the number of judges on the High Court and to fill any vacancies. The president and governors are among the people against whom the courts are unable to issue writs of mandamus.
    • Gujarat State Financial Corporation v. Lotus Hotels (1983): In this instance, an agreement was made between Lotus Hotels and the Gujarat State Financial Corporation, which stipulated that the money would be released to allow construction to begin. Nevertheless, they didn’t later release the funds. As a result, Gujarat State Financial Corporation was ordered by a writ of mandamus to fulfill its public duty as promised after Lotus Hotels filed an appeal with the Gujarat High Court.
  • Certiorari 

The meaning of this Latin expression is “to be certified.” With the use of this writ, the High Court and the Supreme Court can direct other lower courts to turn over their records for inspection. These reviews are conducted to determine the legality of the decisions made by the lower court. If they make decisions that go against natural justice principles, unconstitutional jurisdiction, exceed their authority, or neither, then those decisions might be unlawful. Their judgments will be overturned if it is determined that they were made in violation of the law or the Constitution.

    • A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India (1970): The lower courts’ decisions were overturned in this case after a writ of certiorari was granted to them. The reviewed cases were declared unlawful and declared null and void for all future purposes.
    • Collector of Customs v. A.H.A. Rahiman (1956): In this instance, there was no warning or inquiry given before the customs collector issued a seizure order. The Madras High Court declared that the collector’s order was against natural justice principles because it was issued without hearing all of the relevant facts or comprehending them. To overturn the collector’s order, the Madras High Court issued a writ of certiorari.
    • Syed Yakoob v. Radhakrishnan (1964): In this instance, the Court determined that, regardless of how severe an error of fact may seem, a writ of certiorari can correct a clear legal error that is evident from the record.


To protect fundamental rights and legal obligations, High Courts in India are authorized by Article 226 of Indian Constitution to grant particular writs such as habeas corpus, mandamus, and certiorari. This clause is essential to upholding India’s justice system and rule of law because it permits judicial review and guarantees the enforcement of rights within its borders.

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