In relation to administrative law, explain four modes of judicial control over subordinate courts and tribunals.

Modes of judicial control over subordinate courts and tribunals

  • Mandamus order

Literally means “we command”. It is an order directed to a subordinate court or anybody exercising quasi-judicial powers, commanding it to do a particular thing. It is issued in cases where the subordinate courts or the body has failed to discharge its legal duties or has discharged these duties improperly.

  • Habeas corpus

Means “produce the body”. It is an order of the High Court directed at a person or authority detaining another person ordering the detained in the court and show cause why the detained should not be released forthwith. This writ is meant to ensure speedy trial of a detained person and also to stop unlawful detention.

  • Centiorari order

This writ is issued to subordinate courts and anybody exercising quasi-judicial authority. The grounds for the issue of this writ are:-

  1. Use of excess jurisdiction
  2. Lack of jurisdiction
  3. Correction of errors apparent on face of records
  4. Biased decisions
  5. Improper exercise of discretion
  6. Breach of rules of natural justice.


  • Prohibition

This writ is directed to the subordinate courts or anybody exercising quasi-judicial authority prohibiting it from doing a particular act. The conditions for issue are similar to those of certiorari. But this writ is not proper in cases where the subordinate court of the body exercising quasi-judicial powers has finally given it judgement.

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