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UPSC Prelims 2022

Writs Issued by the Courts - UPSC Prelims 2022 Question

Prelims General Studies Paper - 1

May 14, 2023

2 min read



With reference to the writs issued by the Courts in India, consider the following statements:


1. Mandamus will not lie against a private organization unless it is entrusted with a public duty.
2. Mandamus will not lie against a Company even though it may be a Government Company.
3. Any public minded person can be a petitioner to move the Court to obtain the writ of Quo Warranto.




Which of the statements given above are correct?


A. 1 and 2 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 1 and 3 only
D. 1, 2 and 3




The correct answer is C. 1 and 3 only


The Supreme Court, in the case of Binny Ltd. and Anr. v. V. Sadasivan and Ors, ruled that a writ of mandamus can be used against a private entity, but only if there is a public law aspect involved, and it cannot be used to enforce a purely private agreement between parties. The scope of mandamus depends on the nature of the obligation being enforced, rather than the authority against whom it is sought. If a private entity is performing a public function, and the denial of any right is connected to the public duty assigned to such an entity, the public law remedy can be enforced.


Mandamus is a term that literally means ‘we command’. It is a directive issued by the court to a public official, requiring them to perform their official duties, which they have failed or refused to perform. It can be used against any public body, corporation, inferior court, tribunal, or government company, for the same purpose.


Furthermore, the writ of quo warranto can be requested by any interested person, and not just the aggrieved party.

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