Right to Constitutional Remedies – Article 32 of Indian Constitution

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The right to Constitutional Remedies is the right provided to the citizens of India to move to either the High Court or Supreme Court to protect their fundamental rights. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution defines the Right to constitutional remedies of the Supreme Court and Article 226 of the High Court.

Part 3 of the Indian constitution talks about the fundamental rights of citizens of India, which, if infringed by anyone, then using the Right to Constitutional Remedies, the person can move to any of the higher courts to safeguard their rights. In this instance, the person can move directly to the Supreme Court without going via any Lower Courts, providing a sure, swift, and effective remedy for implementing the fundamental right.

What is the Right to Constitutional Remedies?

The right to Constitutional Remedies is one of the greatest safeguards that can be provided to individuals’ safety and security; in December 1948, during the Constituent Assembly debates, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar stated that the rights conferred on the Supreme Court by this article could not be taken away unless the Constitution was amended.

Right to Constitutional Remedies PDF

Others also say in the drafting committee that it is a right that is fundamental to all the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India as it provides a citizen with the right to approach the Supreme Court as a remedy in case of violation of fundamental rights (FRs).

The Parliament has the right to empower any court with writ jurisdiction without hampering or being prejudiced against the powers of the Supreme Court.

Article 32 of Indian Constitution

Article 32 is the most important article as it implies the right to implement fundamental rights in case of violation is also a fundamental right.

Article 32 of Indian Constitution - Right to Constitutional Remedies

  • Article 32, which is the Right to constitutional remedies, gives a citizen the right to move the Supreme Court directly in case of violation of any fundamental right.
  • The Supreme Court will issue writs to implement fundamental rights.
Right to Constitutional Remedies Article Article 32 to Article 35
Writs Under Article 32 5 Writs of Article 32 are Habeas Corpus, Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus and Quo Warranto
Courts for Constitutional Remedies Supreme Court and High Court

Objectives of Right to Constitutional Remedies

Providing a guaranteed, effective, and cost-effective remedy against the violation of fundamental rights is the main objective of Article 32 in the third part of the Constitution.

  • Over the implementation of fundamental rights(FRs) the Supreme Court has original but not exclusive jurisdiction but to issue directions, orders, and writs of all kinds for the enforcement of the fundamental rights, the original power vested in the High Court.
  • Article 32 of part 3 of the Indian Constitution made the Supreme Court the protector and the body to safeguard fundamental rights. Furthermore, over the power to issue the writs, the apex court has original jurisdiction means a person can go to the Supreme Court directly for a remedy for the protection of fundamental rights rather than appealing.

What Does Right to Constitutional Remedies Provide?

The Rights to Constitutional Remedies provided for the following purposes-

  • The highest and ultimate law for every Indian citizen is the Indian Constitution. Thus Articles 12 to 35 of the third part of the Constitution focus on the important fundamental rights, and the most important fundamental right is the Right to Constitutional Remedies, which is explained under Article 32.
  • If the fundamental rights of the citizens are violated, then they don’t need to apply to the lower court; they can directly go to the Supreme Court by Article 32.
  • Article 32 empowers Supreme Court to write, order, and issue directions and High Court is also empowered by Article 226 to issue writs. Thus, Article 32 helps provide a simple, assured, and quicker remedy for enforcing Constitutional Rights.
  • The Indian Supreme Court protects fundamental rights(FRs) after including Article 32 (Right to Constitutional Remedies).

Exceptions to the Right to Constitutional Remedies

There are a few exceptions to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. The fundamental right under Article 19 gets suspended if there is a declaration of National Emergency in case of external aggression (under Article 358).

Under article 359 the President of India may suspend the right to move the Supreme Court or High Court to implement fundamental rights only of the right mentioned in the presidential order of the national emergency.

The Supreme Court has ruled that if there is a violation of fundamental rights, the petitioner should move to the High Court first. The writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is narrower than the High Court.

What are Writs Under Article 32?

To provide the Constitutional Remedies to protect the violation of fundamental rights of citizens, the Supreme Court of India issued a written order known as Writs.

  • Parliament empowers to facilitate rights to any other court to furnish these Writs by Article 32.
  • The power to issue the writs is vested only in the High Courts of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras before 1950.
  • All High Courts of India are empowered by Article 226 to issue the writs.
  • Writs are taken from English Law which they are renowned as prerogative writs.

5 Writs of Article 32

The constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court by Article 32 and the High Courts by Article 226 to issue orders or writs.

The five types of writs are-

  • Habeas Corpus
  • Mandamus
  • Prohibition
  • Certiorari
  • Quo-Warranto

Certiorari Writ

Certiorari means to be certified. The writ of certiorari is a legal remedy available under the Indian Constitution. It is to provide justice when a lower court exercises power in excess of its jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This Writ also allows the court to transfer a case from the lower court. In India, the writ of certiorari is used primarily by the Supreme Court and High Courts to review the decisions of lower courts, quasi-judicial bodies, and administrative tribunals.

Writ of Prohibition

The purpose of the writ of prohibition is to stop a lower court or tribunal from acting beyond its jurisdiction or in excess of its legal authority. This writ is available under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, which empowers the High Courts to issue writs, for the enforcement of fundamental rights and for any other purpose. However, this Writ cannot be issued against an administrative, legislative, or even a private body.

Writ of Quo Warranto

A writ of quo warranto is a legal order issued by a court to check if a person’s claim to a public office, franchise, or right is legal. The purpose of the writ is to determine whether the person holding the office or right has the legal authority to do so. The term ‘Quo-warranto’ basically means ‘by what authority’. Furthermore, the writ of quo warranto includes both the Statutory and Constitutional offices but cannot be issued against a Ministerial office.

Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus means to bring the body of. The supreme court or the High Court can issue this writ jurisdiction to trace an individual who has been illegally confined. This writ can also be issued if a person is non-traceable. This writ cannot be issued if the detention is lawful.


Mandamus means we command. Mandamus commands activity and Prohibition commands inactivity.

This Writ is issued against public officials if they fail to perform their duties. (Public corporation, Public body, Tribunal, Inferior Court, etc). This Writ cannot be issued against-

  • A private individual or private body.
  • Department instruction that is not statutory.
  • Cannot be issued if the job is discretionary.
  • President and Governor.
  • The chief justice in a judicial capacity.

Important Judgment Related to Article 32

Romesh Thapar vs State of Madras 1950– In this case Supreme Court observed that Article 32 guarantees a remedy for enforcing fundamental rights under the constitution of India.

  • In L. Chandra Kumar vs Union of India and others case- According to the Supreme Court, Article 32 is the fundamental structure of the constitution and serves as an important function being the inseparable part.
  • In the S.P. Sampath Kumar V/S Union of India case– The Supreme Court of India held that Article 32 powers are part of the constitution of India framework.

Recent Observations in Article 32

As part of its inquiry regarding the petitioner’s inability to seek justice in the High Court relating to the journalist Siddique Kappan, the court has requested answers from both the state and Federal governments.

  • A woman’s petition filed under Article 32 was recently dismissed by the CJI.
  • Considering the Article 226 provisions, the supreme court feels that the high courts are well equipped to resolve matters of such nature.
  • When someone is aggrieved, then his first remedy is to file an appeal in the trial courts, then to the high court, and finally to the supreme court if the appeal is denied from the former.

Article 32 of Indian Constitution UPSC

Right to Constitutional Remedies topic is essential for the upcoming exam from prelims as well as the Mains exam point of view. You must prepare this topic effectively to be able to outperform in the exam. You can also download the NCERT Books  or reference books for Indian Polity for UPSC from here.

Right to Constitutional Remedies Question

The aspirants who are going to appear for the upcoming exam can also get UPSC Syllabus along with the prelims syllabus. To boost the preparations in a more expanded way, aspirants can take the help of the previous year’s question papers and study materials.

Question: Prelims 2002 Ques- Which one of the following rights was described by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as the heart and soul of the Constitution? [A] Right to Freedom of Religion [B] Right to Property [C] Right to Equality [D] Right to Constitutional Remedies

Answer: (Option D) Right to Constitutional Remedies

Question: Consider the following statements: [1] Quo-warranto Writs is a very powerful instrument for safeguarding against the usurpation of public offices. [2] To compel a court or judicial tribunal to exercise its jurisdiction when it has refused to exercise it, the High Court can issue a Mandamus.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? [A] Only 1 [B] Only 2 [C] Both 1 and 2 [D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Option C (Both 1 and 2) Quo-warranto Writs is a very powerful instrument for safeguarding against the usurpation of public offices. To compel a court or judicial tribunal to exercise its jurisdiction when it has refused to exercise it, the High Court can issue a Mandamus.

Question: To free a person who has been illegally detained which one of the following writs is issued by an appropriate judicial authority/body? [A] Quo-warranto [B] Mandamus [C] Certiorari [D] Habeas Corpus

Answer: (Option D) Habeas Corpus

UPSC Articles
Right to Freedom Right to Equality
Cultural and Educational Rights Right Against Exploitation Article 23 and 24
Forest Rights Act 2006 Right to Freedom of Religion Article 25 To 28
Right to Education Act 2009 (RTE) National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights (NCPCR)
Right to Information (RTI) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Special Drawing Rights (SDR) Indian Evidence Act and Right To Free Trial
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