News Polity & Governance


Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Indian Constitution [Paper-I]: Indian Constitution and its salient features, Judiciary in India – Structure and functions


  • Supreme Court (SC) has used extraordinary powers granted to it by Article 142 of the Constitution, in granting five acres of land in Ayodhya, outside the disputed area, to Muslim parties.
  • SC, implicitly referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid at the disputed site, said that it was invoking Article 142 “to ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied”.
  • The five-judge bench also exercised Article 142 to direct that the Nirmohi Akhara, an order of Hindu ascetics, will also get representation in the trust that the Centre must set up in three months to oversee the building of the temple.
  • This was the first time that the court invoked this power in a case involving a civil dispute over an immovable property, involving private parties.

Article 142

  • It allows the Supreme Court to pass any order necessary to do “complete justice” in any case.
  • Article 142 (1) states that 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.
  • It is typically used in human rights or environmental judgements.
  • Article 142 is typically invoked in cases that have peculiarities that require the apex court to supersede laws that would conventionally govern an issue.
  • It has been used for restoring the white marble of the Taj Mahal and for constituting the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee to probe the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal.
  • It was also invoked in the case of Union Carbide vs. Union of India, to grant $470 million in the form of relief to victims of the tragic Bhopal gas disaster in 1984.


Article 142 has 2 provisions:

  • 142(1): The Supreme Court may pass an order for doing complete justice.
  • 142(2): It confers three different powers on the Supreme Court.
  • Securing the attendance of persons before it.
  • Discovery and production of documents and
  • Investigation and punishment of contempt of itself.

[Source: Indian Express, The Hindu]


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