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What is a Writ Forum? When can it be Invoked? Types of Writs and its Remedies

What is a Writ? In general, the term writ refers to the legal mechanism used by the aggrieved party to restore or reclaim any of the fundamental rights given in the country's constitution for its citizens upon violation or infringement of those fundamental rights by the state or other statutory public bodies. We can safely state that the protection of citizens' constitutional rights are ensured by this procedure of filing writs in High Court. Writs can only be exercised against public bodies.  In the case law of  Abu-al-Siddique (Md.) Vs. Bangladesh and Ors., a public body is defined as “Any authority, body, corporation or institution constituted or established by or under any law and includes any other body, authority or institution owned, controlled or managed or set up by the Government. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh shall grant an application for writ only if the aggrieved person has achieved success in satisfying the High Court that has exhausted the other similarly effective remedies provided by law. 

There are five types of Writs according to the Constitution of Bangladesh which are categorically mentioned below. 

Writ petition

Writ of Habeas Corpus

The word Habeas Corpus is adopted from Latin which bears the meaning of “ to have the body” or “ to present the body”. The Lower Courts of Bangladesh do not have the jurisdiction to such Writs; this power is only given to the High Court Division of Bangladesh through Article 102(2)(b)(i) of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. When a case in related to unlawful detention, direction under such writ may be issued to the concerned authority by the High Court to present the illegally detained or arrested person in Court for trial. An application has to be made by a person to the High Court based on which the High Court will seek an answer from the concerned authority the reasons it has detained the arrested person. Upon failure to present concrete and adequate evidences to the satisfaction of the Court, the High Court will issue direction on the concerned authority for instant release of the detained person. However, if the reasons for the arrest is found satisfactory to the High Court, the aforesaid Court shall pass an order for speedy trial of the detained person. 

Writ of Mandamus

Mandamus is a Latin term that means "order." Such type of writ is issued when an authority, by abusing his position, denies to work according to his roles/capacity or jurisdiction. Such writs are issued by the High Court Division under clause 2(a)(i)of Article 102 which forces an individual conducting duty in connection with the affairs of the Republic or a municipal authority to do anything that is necessary by statute. Where an individual suffers a loss as a result of an act of a government or semi-government authority and the aggrieved person has no other recourse, the responsible authority can be ordered to perform or refrain from doing the job by a writ of Mandamus. This form of writ may be used against a government official unilaterally. A writ cannot be claimed as of right. The approval of the writ is subject to the court's discretion. If the aggrieved party has an alternative solution, the court will not grant this kind of writ.

Prohibition Writ

Article 102 (2)(a)(i) empowers the High Court to issue orders in the nature of prohibition. A prohibition writ is a writ granted by a superior court prohibiting a lower court or inferior courts from exercising any act that is outside their authority. The purpose of this writ is to ensure that the lower courts remain within their legal jurisdiction. The High Court grants this writ to prevent lower courts from exceeding their jurisdiction's limits or from unjustly misapplying jurisdiction in the absence of having jurisdiction. 

Certiorari Writ

When a subordinate or lower Court pronounces a judgement in a case, the High Court has the power to declare that judgement null and void and then issue writ on the sub ordinate Courts to send records of the relevant case for re trial. Such form of Writ is known as Certiorari Writ. This decision is usually taken by the Courts when there is suspicion that the subordinate Court has taken an illegal decision. Article 102 (2)(a)(ii) empowers the High Court to issue orders in the nature of prohibition.

Writ of Quo-Warranto

Article 102 (2)(b)(ii) empowers the High Court to issue orders in the nature of prohibition A writ requiring one to prove under what warrant he owns or claims a franchise or office is known as a qua warranto writ. When such kind of writ is filed, the High court will investigate whether the accused party received his position legally. If the High Court finds, through inspection or investigation, that the person in question did not acquire his position lawfully, the High Court will expel the person from the unlawfully acquired position through the execution of this writ.