I had written about restraining a police officer from abusing his powers in a previous post
Here is the excerpt from the judgment from that post that explains writ mandamus:
“It appears to us that, though the Code of Criminal Procedure gives to the police unfettered power to investigate all cases where they suspect that a cognizable offence has been committed, in appropriate cases an aggrieved person can always seek a remedy by invoking the power of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution under which, if the High Court could be convinced that the power of investigation has been exercised by a police officer mala fide, the High Court can always issue a writ of mandamus restraining the police officer from misusing his legal power”
I was looking for a good example of a judgment in response to a writ mandamus petition. I found a great example. This is the case of the Kanchi Shankaracharya who got entangled in a criminal case.
Looks like the police froze the accounts of the trust he runs and subsequently, the writ mandamus was filed and upheld by the Chennai High Court.
The Hon’ble judge says:
“Prof.Wade, in his magnum opus “ADMINISTRATIVE LAW”, (9th Edition – Page 343), observes as follows, while dealing with “Restriction of Discretion”: ” The first requirement is the recognition that all power has legal limits. The next requirement, no less vital, is that the courts should draw those limits in a way which strikes the most suitable balance between executive efficiency and legal protection of the citizen. Parliament constantly confers upon public authorities powers which on their face might seem absolute and arbitrary. But arbitrary power and unfettered discretion are what the courts refuse to countenance. They have woven a network of restrictive principles which require statutory powers to be exercised reasonably and in good faith, for proper purposes only, and in accordance with the spirit as well as the letter of the empowering Act.”
I am adding this here, as the cops play the role of the intimidator, bounty hunter, goon and extortionist in almost all 498A cases. A writ mandamus is one of the means to put them in their place. If you need more convincing, re-read the excerpt from the judgment above.
Here is the judgment: Chennai HC: An Example Of A Writ Mandamus