A formal written order issued by the judicial authority is known as writ. Mandamus means “We Command” Mandamus is among the prerogative writs in English law. It is an order from a superior court to an inferior government official to properly fulfill their official duties.  The court can order either to do something or not to do something. High court or apex court has original jurisdiction to the issue writs. And it can also be issued for keeping the public authorities within their jurisdiction while performing their public functions. A mandamus writ is unique because it can be an issue before a case has concluded.

How Mandamus Writ regulates before the Constitution of India

By the letters of patent, The Mandamus came to India creating the apex court in Calcutta in 1773. The writ of the  Mandamus can issue under the Specific Relief  Act, 1877. But under the Specific Relief Act, 1963. this provision is omitted from the Act because such provision becomes redundant. The Constitution of India had a similar Provision in it. Constitution has given powers to the apex court and all high courts to issue the writ to enforce fundamental rights.

Who Can File Writ Petition of Mandamus

The person who files the Mandamus writ petition must fill it in good faith and have the legal right to do so. He must have demanded the performance of the duty from the respected public authority, And if that public authority refused to do so. Then the only petitioner can file a Mandamus writ petition under articles 32 and 226 of The Constitution. 

Against Whom It Can Issue

It can issue against a public corporation, public officials, inferior courts, tribunals, or the government. 

Against Whom Mandamus Writ Petition Cannot Be Issued

Under Article 361, a mandamus ought not to issue against the president or governor of a state. This writ cannot grant against the private body, except in the case where the state in connivance with the particular party defies a provision of the Constitution or a statute or acting chief justices.

Against What Circumstances It Cannot Issue

  • When duty commanded is indiscretion.
  • When the court directs to perform particular authority does not have sovereign powers to do so.
  • When the court directs to perform the duty of purely private nature, to whose performance the applicant of the writ has a legal right.
  • When the remedy is in any act or code, the matter is of enforcing fundamental rights. The argument of alternative does not stand here since it is the duty of Apex and the high court to enforce fundamental rights.
  • When the court directs to perform a duty and duty is violating the law. 

Case Law Related To Mandamus Writ

  • Vemula Prabhakar v. Land Acquisition Officer, 2001In this case, It was held by the three-judge bench of Andhra Pradesh that if a remedy is under the Code of Civil Procedure, then it cannot say that the remedy provided under the Act is not adequate. In these types of cases, there is a restriction on issuing Mandamus writ.
  • K. Roy v. Union of India, 1981In this case, the petitioner filed petitions in the apex court of India challenges the validity of the National Security Act. In petitions, the petitioner asks the court to issue a mandamus to the government to invoke section 3 of the Act. Court declined the petition by stating that if parliament gives up space to the executive to act, then the court has no power to issue a directive compelling the executive to perform otherwise.
  • Suganmal v. State of Madhya PradeshIn this case, the petitioner filed a writ of mandamus to direct the respondent to refund tax. The apex court declined the petition by stating that proper remedy can claim only by filing a suit for the refund.
  • All India Tea Trading Co. v.  Sub Divisional OfficerIn this case, the land Acquisition Officer refused to pay the interest on the compensation award. The petitioner filed a mandamus writ petition. The apex court issued a writ against the land acquisition officer directing him to pay the interest.
  • Mohammed Sadique v. Union territory of Lakshadweep – In this case, the petitioner filed a writ of Mandamus before Kerala High Court directing the administrator of Lakshadweep to issue fresh notice to give 30 days to the public to submit their suggestions, comments on controversial draft Regulations. The court declined the petition and directed the petitioner to forward his suggestion within fourteen days onward to the central government.  It is upon the central government to accept the submission or not.
  • Fida Ahmad v. Srinagar Development AuthorityIn this case, a mandamus writ has been issued against the respondent. He has to pay the amount deposited by the petitioner inclusive of 9% interest on it within the month.
  • Raman & Raman v. the State of MadrasIn this case, the court held that departmental instructions and manuals do not give rise to any legal right to the court has no authority to issue mandamus on it.
  • Birendra Kumar v. Union of IndiaIn this case, High Court directed the telephone authorities to restore the connection within a week because the respondent wrongfully disconnected the telephone in spite petitioner pays his dues regularly.
  • Internet Technology Commissioner v. the State of MadrasThe court held that writ of mandamus must not be issued when the duty is private and arising out of a contract.
  • Shiv Shankar Dal Mills v. the State of HaryanaIn this case, it was held that through mandamus court compel the authority to refund the fee amount it has collected under law.
  • Shivendra v. Nalanda CollegeIn this case, the court held that if the governing body of a college appointed a new principal, then a Mandamus writ can not issue on him because he has no legal right to be appointed
  •  Syndicate v. Union of IndiaIn this case, the court held that issue mandamus writ against an administrative authority. When the affected individual demands justice before his right to approach the court denied by that authority.
  • S.P. Manocha v. the State of M.P. In this case, the court refused to issue a Mandamus because the petitioner could not establish that he has the right to take admission in college. 


A writ of mandamus is a unique remedy and used in exceptional circumstances only. The main motive of mandamus writ is to provide a remedy for injustices. It is the tool in the hands of people against Administrative and Executive bodies, who are misusing their power.

This article is written by Megha Patel, a 2nd-year law student at The Mody University of Science and Technology, Laxmangarh, Rajasthan.



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