What is a writ Mandamus?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 1st, 2022

A writ Mandamus is Latin for "we command." It is a directive given by a court to a public official requesting that they carry out their official responsibilities that they have neglected or refused to do.

In other words, this writ is issued when the court determines that a particular office holder is not carrying out their legal obligations and violates a person's rights.

Writ of Mandamus in Administrative Law

The Indian Constitution, enshrined in Part III, guarantees its citizens several fundamental rights and liberties, including the right to life, freedom of speech and expression, equality, and others. But simply providing rights is insufficient.

  • The State must act to maintain and defend the citizens of India's constitutionally protected rights.
  • The state should offer a remedy to right the wrong or injustice whenever it affects anyone in whatever area of the state.
  • When citizens' rights are violated, there needs to be a process by which they can seek justice. The origin of the word "writ" can be found here.
  • Only the Supreme Court and the High Courts in India have the authority to issue writs. Article 226 of the Indian Constitution grants the High Courts the power to issue writs, but Article 32 of the Constitution grants that authority to the Supreme Court.
  • The distinction between writs and orders must be made. A writ is issued to give an extraordinary remedy, but an order is issued for a more general purpose and can be issued regarding any case.

Summary:

What is a writ Mandamus?

Mandamus is the Latin word for "we command." It is a directive offered to a public official by a court requesting to carry out official responsibilities that are refused or neglected.

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