• Constitutional Law- Writ Petition, PIL & SLP

  • The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It is a living document, an instrument which makes the government system work. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and nearly 100 amendments. 

    The constitution of India imparts constitutional supremacy and not parliamentary supremacy as it is not created by the Parliament but created by a constituent assembly and adopted by its people with a declaration in the preamble to the constitution. The constitutional institutions such as Parliament, President, Judiciary, Executive, etc are created by the constitution. 

    The Supreme Court of India and the High Courts of various High Courts in India have been made the protector and guarantor of these Rights, as provided in the Constitution. A person whose right is infringed by an arbitrary administrative action may approach the Court for appropriate remedy. The Constitution of India, under Articles 32 and 226 confers writ jurisdiction on Supreme Court and High Courts, respectively, for enforcement/protection of fundamental rights of an Individual. The Supreme Court of India has Original, Appellate and Advisory jurisdiction. Article 32 of the Constitution gives an extensive Original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The Supreme Court has been conferred with power to direct transfer of any Civil or Criminal case from one State High Court to another State High Court or from a Court subordinate to another State High Court. The Supreme Court may, if satisfied that cases involving the same or substantially the same questions of law are pending before it and one or more High Courts or before two or more High Courts and that such questions are substantial questions of general importance, withdraw a case or cases pending before the High Court or High Courts and dispose of all such cases itself. Under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, an International Commercial Arbitration can also be initiated in the Supreme Court. Almost identical powers are commanded by the High Courts Of Various States under Article 226 of the Constitution.

    The Writ is an instrument or order of the Court by which the Supreme Court or High Courts  directs an Individual or official or an authority to do an act or abstain from doing an act. The Supreme Court and the High Courts  have ample inherent power to issue directions or orders or writs of any sort including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of rights, as  provided in the Constitution. The Writ Petitions under Article 32 or Art-226 of the Constitution filed before the Supreme Court of India or High Courts are not refused on technical grounds. The Courts are rather pleased to entertain simple letters written to the Courts as Writ Petition. At times, the Courts even proceed suo moto based on the information received by them through electronic and print media. Writ jurisdiction of the High Courts of various states & the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India can be classified as the following- Original, Extra Ordinary, Constitutional & Inherent; & Appellate Jurisdiction. Maintainability of a writ is a very big legal question. One can do more harm than good to an individual or public cause if the maintainability issue has not been properly looked into before taking up a writ.  As per the law of the land a writ does not lie against an individual. It lies only against the Govt. & Its Limbs, both, state govt. all over India & the Union Government.  Writ matters are generally filed seeking directions against the competent govt. authorities. Writ matters can be categorised as follows: Writ Petitions [Criminal & Civil]: Writ Petitions relating To Constitutional Functionaries; Writ seeking dissolution, appointment & removal Of Boards, Corporation, Members, Directors, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Etc.; Tender Writs in regard to Mines, Minerals & Mining Leases; Forest & Wildlife matters; Environment; Academic Institutions; Crimes Against Women/SC/ST/OBC; Wakf Board & their Property; Commissions Of Enquiry; Pension Matters; Election Matters; Land Acquisition; Etc.

    Likewise, a Public Interest Litigation [PIL] can also be filed before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution or before the High Court of a State under Article 226 of the Constitution. Public Interest Litigation can can be categorised as follows:: PIL relating to Detaining Authorities; Women & Children; Environment Compensation; Mines, Minerals & Mining Leases; Forest & Wildlife; Environment;

    Special Leave petition [SLP] is also a constitutional remedy. Under this jurisdiction, the Supreme Court may in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India. Article 136 of the Constitution is however, not a regular forum of appeal at all. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India observed in the case, N. Suriyakala Vs. A. Mohandoss and Others (2007) 9 SCC 196, that the Article 136 is a residual provision which enables the Supreme Court to interfere with the judgment or order of any court or tribunal in India in its discretion.” A Case titled as Mathai @ Joby Versus George, Special Leave Petition(C)No. 7105 Of 2010 is pending before the Constitution Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in which the Bench is likely to frame some concrete guidelines to exclude a category of the cases from the ambit of SLP.    

    Eminent NGOs & Individuals who have been spearheading the cause of justice invoking the writ jurisdiction of the Courts all over India are as follows:  Common Cause, etc.

    Select Case Law on the constitutional matters is as follows: (i) Subrata Roy Sahara Versus Union Of India And Others, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 57 OF 2014, Order dated-06.05.2014, Bench- K.S. Radhakrishnan, J & Jagdish Singh Khehar [Full PDF Judgment].  

    Legislations governing the Constitutional Matters: Constitution Of India & various other allied Legislations involved in the particular Case, for example, Army Act 1950; All India Institute of Medical Sciences Act, 1956; Airports Authority of India Act, 1994; Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003; Disaster Management Act, 2005; Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968; Food Corporations Act, 1964; etc.

    We, at, Hello Counsel, represent causes for public good. A commitment to public service has always been deeply ingrained in our firm culture. 

    Vital Features Of Constitutional Law   

    Constitutional Courts

    [In Hierarchical Order]

    • Supreme Court of India
    • High Courts Of Various States

    Other Foras

    Governing Constitutional Provisions

    Other Allied Acts & Statutes

    Bare Acts relevant for the matters of the following categories which are impugned more often than not under writ jurisdiction:- Human Rights, Environment, Birds & Animals, Govt. & Its Organs, Media & Press, Medicine & Pharmacy, Right To Information (RTI), Societies & Trust Matters

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