DMPQ:What is article 142 of the constitution? Do you think it is foraying into forbidden territory?

Article 142 provides that “the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it…”


In the initial years the use of article 142 was for constructing purpose like with one stroke pen directing to release undertrials languishing in Jail, direction for cleansing of Tajmahal etc. But during the awarding of compensation in the case of Bhopal gas tragedy, SC was of the opinion that Parliamentary laws are inferior to the constitutional power granted under article 142. This judgement was foraying into forbidden territory and was affecting the doctrine of separation of power.


In recent years with their judgement SC has shown excessive power and has given judgements which are reflections of diluting the separation of power doctrine. The coal block allocation case, ban on selling on liquor on highways, SC appointing lokayukta in UP are case in point. This judgements are not in accordance with the realities and dynamics faced by the executive. Governance has its own practical problems for which executive can provide the realistic solution.

It is true that Article 142 has been invoked for the purpose of doing tremendous good to large sections of the population and indeed to the nation as a whole. The Supreme Court has perceived its role as one which would require it to ‘wipe away every tear from every eye’, but perhaps it is time that the use of this vast, unlimited power included checks and balances.

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