The writ of certiorari issued to quash a decision after the decision is taken by a lower tribunal while prohibition is issuable before the proceedings are completed. The law has always been, that a writ of certiorari is issued against the acts or proceedings of a judicial or quasi-judicial body conferred with power to determine question affecting the rights of subjects and obliged to act judicially. Since the Writ of certiorari is directed against the act, order or proceedings of the subordinate Court, it can issue even if the lis is between two private parties. The grounds for the issue of certiorari have been succinctly stated by the Supreme Court in Syed Yakoo v. K.S. Radhakrishnan. The writ of certiorari or prohibition is issued, inter alia on the following grounds:

  • When the body concerned proceeds to act without, or in excess of, jurisdiction, or
  • fails to exercise its jurisdiction; or
  • there is an error of law apparent on the face of the record in the impugned decision of the body; or
  • the findings of fact reached by the inferior tribunal are based on no evidence; or
  • it proceeds to act in violation of the principles of natural justice; or
  • it proceeds to act under a law which is itself invalid, ultra vires or unconstitutional, or
  • it proceeds to act in contravention of the Fundamental Rights.