Shield Against Justice: The Writ Of Prohibition

April 10, 2024
The Writ of Prohibition

The writ of prohibition functions as a barrier against an invasion of injustice in the intricate structure of legal structures, where the delicate equilibrium of power and justice has to be maintained. This legal firearm, which is often employed in common law jurisdictions, acts as an armor to protect individuals or groups from unlawful or oppressive actions taken by subordinate courts, administrative departments, or other levels of government. 

Despite its long history, spanning centuries, it is still pertinent in today’s legal settings because it supports values that are essential to the rule of law.

The Writ of Prohibition

  • As per the writ of prohibition definition, its literal meaning is “to prohibit.” It is sent to a lesser court or tribunal by a higher court to stop the latter from encroaching on its own territory or usurping one that it does not. 
  • Therefore, prohibition commands inaction, as opposed to mandamus, which directs activity. 
  • To put it plainly, this writ is granted by a higher court (the High Court or Supreme Court) in cases where a lower court has addressed cases that are outside of its purview.

Writ of Prohibition Example

  • A Custodian has been observed to take rent payments from renters for a period of five months before taking legal action against them to determine whether or not they have permissive possession over the evacuee’s property. It has been seen that the Custodian will be issued a Writ of Prohibition prohibiting him from continuing.

Petition for Writ of Prohibition: Who Can File?

Anyone who is impacted by the conduct of a lower court, tribunal, or other entity that has overreached its jurisdiction or is handling a case in an unlawful or improper manner may file a writ petition of prohibition in India. This can apply to individuals, businesses, as well as the government.

  • Individuals: Anyone may petition for a writ of prohibition if their rights are violated or if their rights are impacted by the decisions made by a lower court, tribunal, or other authority.
  • Organizations: If the actions of a lower court, tribunal, or other authority impair a company’s or an association’s rights or interests, the petitioner may also submit a writ of prohibition.
  • Government: In the event that an action by a lower court, tribunal, or other body is unlawful or against the public interest, even the government may petition for a writ of prohibition.

Writ of Prohibition in India: Grounds to File

In specific situations, a writ of ban is issued by a lower court or subordinate body when:

  • Acts outside the scope of its authority or beyond it, a jurisdictional error;
  • Acts against its authority, acting instead as an illegitimate law;
  • Violates the principles of natural justice, namely the failure of equity and equality;
  • Behaves in an exuberant or unconstitutional manner;
  • Acts against fundamental rights;
  • Acts as though it is a mistake based on the documentation; 
  • Honest assessments are not backed up by data.

Writ of Prohibition: Procedure to Issue

  • An offended party must file a petition with the higher court that has supervisory authority over the relevant court or tribunal in order to start a writ of prohibition. 
  • This petition must be filed, typically with the assistance of legal counsel. The grounds for the writ, such as lack of jurisdiction or breach of natural justice, must be stated in the petition in detail. 
  • After reviewing the petition, the higher court determines whether to grant the writ. 
  • Should the writ be granted, it instructs the subordinate court or tribunal to stop any actions that are considered illegal or outside of its purview.
  • Article 32 of the Indian Constitution and Article 226 of the High Court of India grant the authority to issue a prohibition writ, respectively.

Writ of Prohibition Case Law

  • In the case of S. Govind Menon v Union of India, both situations of excess jurisdiction and lack of jurisdiction allow for the issuance of a writ of prohibition. Using a writ of prohibition, a higher court, the Kerala High Court, issued a subordinate court a mandate to keep its jurisdictional limitations by assuming jurisdiction that had not previously been granted. Both when there is an excess of jurisdiction and when there is none at all, the writ may be issued.
  • In the case of Mannusamappa & Sons v Custodian Evacuee Property, the custodian claimed to act against the petitioners as though they were in permissive possession after acknowledging them as tenants of the evacuated property and taking payment for five months. It was decided to prohibit him from going any further. 

Read to know: The Writ of Mandamus

Writ of Prohibition FAQs

1. What are the limitations of the writ of prohibition?

The use of this writ is subject to various writ limitations, such as the following: it may only be aimed at courts and tribunals that possess legal jurisdiction; it may not be used against the government or against non-legal persons.

2. What are the grounds for issuing a writ of prohibition?

  • Lack of Jurisdiction
  • Violation of Natural Justice
  • Violation of Basic Rights
  • Errors of Law
  • Acts unconstitutionally or ultra-vires 
  • Lack of evidence in truthful judgments
  • Excess of Jurisdiction

3. What is the famous case of a writ of prohibition?

Brij Khandelwal v India is regarded as a significant example of prohibition. The Delhi High Court was seen to have refused the Central Government’s request for a prohibition from entering into an agreement with Sri Lanka, which is why the Central Government and Delhi High Court were parties to this lawsuit.

4. What is the nature and scope of the writ of prohibition?

A court can issue a writ of prohibition to stop subordinate courts, tribunals, and other quasi-judicial bodies from acting outside of their jurisdiction. Unlike mandamus, which orders activity, it is issued to direct inactivity.

5. Who can issue a prohibition writ?

Any lower court or quasi-judicial body that has no authority to handle a particular case may be issued a writ of prohibition by any High Court or the Supreme Court to prevent the case from being heard by the lower court. A prohibition writ, sometimes referred to as a “stay order.”

6. What is the purpose of the writ of prohibition?

The main purpose of a writ of prohibition is to stop a lesser court or tribunal from acting outside of its authority in cases that are pending before it or from going against the principles of natural justice.

7. Can a writ of prohibition be issued against administrative bodies?

It cannot be issued against an administrative or legislative body; it can only be used against judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. The Writ of Prohibition may be issued by the Supreme Court or the High Court.

8. What is the writ of prohibition in Latin?

In Latin, “prohibition” means “to forbid”. A higher court issues this writ to a lower court or tribunal to stop it from acting unlawfully or beyond its authority.

9. What is prohibition writ in simple words?

‘To forbid’ is how the writ of prohibition is literally translated. It is sent to a lesser court or tribunal by a higher court in order to stop the latter from encroaching on its own territory or usurping one that it does not.

10. Who can file a writ?

A person may file a writ petition before the Supreme Court under Article 32 to challenge a violation of their fundamental rights. When someone’s fundamental rights are violated, they have the option to file a writ petition before the High Courts, as per Article 226.

11. Which coaching is best for the judiciary?

Jyoti Judiciary Coaching, the best judiciary coaching in Jaipur is the best coaching for the judiciary. Its objective is to make the students in the classes comfortable. It increases the likelihood of accomplishing the intended goal by making the tough task appear easy. The Jyoti Judiciary’s mission is to provide you with the best education possible. The Institute guarantees that every effort will be made to give you the best preparation possible for the Judicial Services entrance exams.

12. Which coaching is best for RJS preparation?

“Jyoti Judiciary Coaching” is one of the respectable coaching programs in Jaipur for RJS exam preparation. A structured approach to RJS examination preparation is made possible by Jyoti Judiciary, the best online as well as offline RJS coaching service in Jaipur. They have taken great care in creating a curriculum that includes every subject and course required to pass the Rajasthan Judicial Services Examinations.

Read to know: The Writ of Habeas Corpus

With the goal of giving students the best coaching available for law entrance exams including the CLAT, AILET, and various other state judiciary exams, Jyoti Judiciary Coaching, India’s Finest educational Platform, was established. Come enroll now with Jyoti Judiciary!

For any latest news, legal topics, judiciary exams notifications, patterns, etc watch Jyoti Judiciary’s YouTube channel for legal videos for any updates at

Leave a Comment