The Writ of Quo Warranto I

Writ of Quo Warranto cannot be issued on basis of assumptions, inferences or suspicion regarding factum of fulfillment of eligibility criteria. Being an extraordinary power, ordinarily such a Writ ought to be issued only on basis of indisputable facts leading to a singular conclusion – incumbent was in fact or in law disqualified to occupy public office or has incurred disqualification to continue to remain therein. Only whence such a person would fall within description of a usurper of public office without legal authority.

Suffice it is to observe, unless Court is satisfied, incumbent was not eligible at all as per statutory provisions for being appointed or elected to public office or he/she has incurred disqualification to continue in said office, which satisfaction should be founded on indisputable facts, High Court ought not to entertain prayer for issuance of a Writ of Quo Warranto.

Hon’ble Justice A.M. KhanwilkarBharati Reddy v. State of Karnataka, [Civil Appeal No. 1763 of 2018].


More recently, in Bharati Reddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 6 SCC 162 a Three-Judge Bench of this Court, of which one of us [Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud] was a part, noted precedents.

State Government misused “removal of difficulty clause” to remove all obstacles in its path which arose due to statutory restrictions [Madeva Upendra Sinai v. Union of India, (1975) 3 SCC 765]. Allowing such actions would be antithetical to rule of law.

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, State of West Bengal v. Anindya Sundar Das, [Civil Appeal No. 6706 of 2022] decided on 11.10.2022.