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I keep hearing a High Court has directed the Centre to do something. See example. It's a good thing in my opinion. However, the jurisdiction of a High Court as I understand is within that state for that High Court, with few exceptions like Gauhati which has jurisdiction in three states.

Which power (or clause) enables a High Court to direct the Centre?

By the same analogy, can a district court direct the state where it's located?

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This is a very straightforward point of constitutional law. Chapter and verse from the Constitution, art 224:

(1) Notwithstanding anything in article 32, every High Court shall have power, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government, within those territories directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, or any of them, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose.

(2) The power conferred by clause (1) to issue directions, orders or writs to any Government, authority or person may also be exercised by any High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to the territories within which the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises for the exercise of such power, notwithstanding that the seat of such Government or authority or the residence of such person is not within those territories.

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