What is Article 142 of the Indian Constitution?

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What is Article 142 of the Indian Constitution? Blog Image


The Supreme Court recently held its extraordinary discretion under Article 142 of the Constitution can be used to do “complete justice” for couples trapped in bitter marriages by granting them divorce by mutual consent.

 About Article 142 of the Indian Constitution:

  • It deals with the Supreme Court's power to exercise its jurisdiction and pass an order for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
  • It provides the apex court with a special and extraordinary power and is meant to provide justice to litigants who have suffered traversed illegality or injustice in the course of legal proceedings.
  • Article 142(1) states 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, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe”.
  • Significant cases where Article 142 was invoked:
    • Babri Masjid Case: The article was used in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case and was instrumental in the handover of the disputed land to a trust to be formed by the union government.
    • Bhopal Gas Tragedy: The SC invoked its plenary powers in the Union Carbide vs Union Govt case and intervened to provide compensation to victims of the deadly Bhopal Gas Tragedy.


Q1) What is a Special Leave Petition?

The Supreme Court, under Article 136 (SLP), has extraordinary jurisdiction wherein special leave can be granted by it to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any matter passed by any court or tribunal in India with no limits or restrictions.

Source: Divorce can be granted on ‘grounds of irretrievable breakdown’: Supreme Court