What is prohibition ?
This writ can be issued against judicial or quasi-judicial authorities. When such authority exceeds its jurisdiction or tries to exercise jurisdiction not vested in it. In East India Commercial company v. Collector of customs, 1962, Supreme Court observed " A writ of prohibition is an order directed to an inferior Tribunal forbidding it from continuing with a proceeding therein on the ground that the proceedings is without or in excess of jurisdiction or contrary to the laws of the land , statury or otherwise."
The principle underlying the writ of prohibition is that 'prevention is better than cure'.
Grounds for issue of writ of prohibition -
1) Absence of jurisdiction -
In case of absence or total lack of jurisdiction, a Writ of prohibition would be available against a judicial or quasi-judicial authority prohibiting it from exercising jurisdiction not vested in it.
2) Violation of natural justice -
A writ of prohibition can also be issued when there is violation of principles of natural justice. If there is bias or prejudice on the part of the judge or if no notice was issued or hearing given to the person against whom the action is sought to be taken. There is no jurisdiction vested in the court or tribunal to proceed with such matter.
3) Ultra vires or unconstitutional act -
A Writ of prohibition will also be issued where if a court or a tribunal proceeds to act under a law which is ultra vires or unconstitutional. Thus, if The proceedings are pending in a court or tribunal under a statute which itself ultra vires Aet . 14,25,26 of the Constitution or is beyond the competence of legislature, a writ of prohibition can be issued against further proceedings.
4) Infringement of fundamental right -
A Writ of prohibition can be issued where the impugned action infringes the fundamental rights of the petitioner.
Writ of habeas corpus is a judicial writ. It may be issued against courts, tribunals and other quasi judicial authorities such as tax authorities , statutory authorities. Writ of prohibition cannot be issued against administrative authorities from discharging administrative , executive or ministerial functions and also against legislature restraining it from enacting or enforcing a law. The object of the writ of prohibition is to prevent unlawful assumption of jurisdiction. Therefore it can be issued only when it is proved that judicial or quasi judicial authority has no jurisdiction or acts in excess of jurisdiction vested in it .
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