The Constitution of India has given specific powers to the Legislature,
Executive & Judiciary. All the three functionalities of the State are mandated
to act in accordance with the powers granted by our Constitution. None of the
functionalities can encroach or transcend the powers given to them.
However, the Supreme Court has been given specific & special power under Article
142 of the Constitution to pass such decree or make such order as is necessary
for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it. This makes
the Apex Court super powerful but Article 142 is to be used sparingly to grant
Article 142 of the Constitution is apparently unique as it does not have any
counterpart in most of the major written constitutions of the world. Further,
Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India gives wide and capacious power to
the Supreme Court to do 'complete justice' in any cause or matter, which is
significant, as the judgment delivered by Supreme Court ends the litigation
between the parties.
It is relevant that Article 142 gives legal authority to the Supreme Court to
give precedence to equity over law. This power, like all powers under the
Constitution, must be contained and regulated, as it has been held that relief
based on equity should not disregard the substantive mandate of law based on
underlying fundamental general and specific issues of public policy.
It would be relevant to reproduce Article 142 of The Constitution of India 1949,
which reads as under:
142. Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to
- 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 orders 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
- Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament,
the Supreme Court shall, as respects the whole of the territory of India,
have all and every power to make any order for the purpose of securing the
attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or
the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself.
Thus, the Constituent Assembly enacted Article 142 on May 27, 1949, and gave the
country's highest Court (Supreme Court) plenary power to ensure the secured
administration of justice. Article 142 of the Indian Constitution grants
extensive power to the Supreme Court that prioritizes equity over law and
ensures 'complete justice' in the exercise of the jurisdiction.
It would be relevant to refer to the Apex Court case in Bonkya Alias
Bharatshivaji Mane vs State of Maharashtra 1995 SCC (6) 447 wherein the court
dealt with the scope of Article 142 of the Constitution & succinctly observed
" The amplitude of powers available to this Court under Article 142 of the
Constitution of India is normally speaking not conditioned by any statutory
provision but it cannot be lost sight of that this Court exercises jurisdiction
under Article 142 of the Constitution with a view to do justice between the
parties but not in disregard of the relevant statutory provisions."
It would be trite to refer to Constitution Bench judgment in the case of Supreme
Court Bar Association v. Union of India (1998) 4 SCC 409 wherein the Court has
circumscribed the powers granted under Article 142 of the Constitution. The
Court held thus:
"The plenary powers of this court under Article 142 of the Constitution are
inherent in the court and are complementary to those powers which are
specifically conferred on the court by various statutes though are not limited
by those statutes. These powers also exists independent of the statutes with a
view to do complete justice between the parties. These powers are of very wide
amplitude and are in the nature of supplementary powers.
This power, exists as a separate and independent basis of jurisdiction, apart
from the statutes. It stands upon the foundation, and the basis for its exercise
may be put on a different and perhaps even wider footing, to prevent injustice
in the process of litigation and to do complete justice between the parties.
This plenary jurisdiction is, thus, the residual source of power which this
Court may draw upon as necessary whenever it is just and equitable to do so and
in particular to ensure the observance of the due process of law, to do complete
justice between the parties while administering justice according to law.
There is no doubt that it is an indispensable adjunct to all other powers and is
free from the restraint of jurisdiction and operates as a valuable weapon in the
hands of the court to prevent "clogging or obstruction of the stream of
justice". It, however, needs to be remembered that the powers conferred on the
court by Article 142 being curative in nature cannot be construed as powers
which authorise the court to ignore the substantive rights of a litigant while
dealing with a cause pending before it.
This power cannot be used to "supplant" substantive law applicable to the case
or cause under consideration of the court. Article 142, even with the width of
its amplitude, cannot be used to build a new edifice where none existed earlier,
by ignoring express statutory provisions dealing with a subject and thereby to
achieve something indirectly which cannot be achieved directly.....
The Supreme Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 142 has the
power to make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice " between
the parties in any cause or matter pending before it." The very nature of the
power must lead the court to set limits for itself within which to exercise
those powers and ordinarily it cannot disregard a statutory provision covering a
subject, except perhaps to balance the equities between the conflicting claims
of the litgating parties by "ironing out the creases" in a cause or matter
before it. Indeed this Court is not a court of restricted jurisdiction of only
dispute settling. It is well recognised and established that this court has
always been a law maker and its role travels beyond merely dispute settling.
It is a "problem solver in the nebulous areas". (See. K. Verraswami vs. Union of
India (1991 (3) SCC 655) but the substantive statutory provisions dealing with
the subject matter of a given case, cannot be altogether ignored by this court,
while making an order under Article Indeed, these constitutional powers can not,
in any way, be controlled by any statutory provisions but at the same time these
powers are not meant to be exercised when their exercise may come directly in
conflict with what has been expressly provided for in statute dealing expressly
with the subject."
The Constitution Bench of the Apex Court dealing with the powers of the Supreme
Court under Article 142 in Prem Chand Garg vs. Excise Commissioner, U.P.,
Allahabad, (1963) Supp. 1. S.C.R. 885 observed thus:
" In this connection, it may be pertinent to point out that the wide powers
which are given to this court for doing complete justice between the parties,
can be used by this court for instance, in adding parties to the proceedings
pending before it, or in admitting additional evidence, or in remanding the
case, or in allowing a new point to be taken for the first time. It is plain
that in exercise these and similar other powers, this Court would not be bound
by the relevant provisions of procedure if it is satisfied that a departure from
the said procedure is necessary to do complete justice between the parties.
That takes us to the second argument urged by the Solicitor- General that Art.
142 and Art. 32 should be reconciled by the adoption of the rule of harmonious
construction. In this connection, we ought to bear in mind that though the
powers conferred on this Court by Art. 142(1) are very wide, and the same can be
exercised for doing complete justice in any case, as we have already observed
this Court cannot even under Art. 142(1) make an order plainly inconsistent with
the express statutory provisions of substantive law, much less, inconsistent
with any Constitutional provision. There can, therefore be no conflict between
Art. 142(1) and Art. 32."
The discussion would be incomplete without referring to the judgment of the
Constitution Bench of the Apex Court in the case of E.S.P.Rajaram & Ors vs
Union Of India & Ors
(2001) 2 SCC 186 wherein the Court, dealing with the
extent & intent of Article 142 observed thus:
"The said provision vests power in the Supreme Court to pass such decree or make
such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any case or mater
pending before it. The provision contains no limitation regarding the causes or
the circumstances in which the power can be exercised nor does it lays down any
condition to be satisfied before such power is exercised.
The exercise of the power is left completely to the descretion of the highest
court of the country and its order or decree is made binding on all the Courts
or Tribunals throughout the territory of India. However, this power is not to be
exercised to override any express provision. It is not to be exercised in a case
where there is no basis in law which can form an edifice for building up a super
This Court has not hesitated to exercise the power under Article 142 of the
Constitution whenever it was felt necessary in the interest of justice. In the
case of M S Ahlawat vs. State of Haryana and another
(2000) 1 SCC 278 a
bench of three learned Judges of this Court considering the power of the Court
to recall its own order in a criminal case referred to the relevant observations
in Supreme Court Bar Association v. Union of India
(1998) 4 SCC 409 and
held that under Article 142 of the Constitution the Supreme Court cannot
altogether ignore the substantive provisions of a statute and pass orders
concerning an issue which can be settled only through a mechanism prescribed in
In the case of R.C.Sahi and others vs. Union of India and others
SCC 482 concerning applicability of certain service rules to officers of the
CRPF this Court relying on the power vested in Article 142 "for doing complete
justice in any cause or matter" issued the following directions:
"There are two petitioners in WP(C) No.211 of 1997. Out of these two, it is
stated that one has already retired from the service. In the light of the
interim orders dated 19.1.1998 and 27.1.1998, the first petitioner (C.M Bahuguna)
is still in service in the promoted post.
In the circumstances, we are of the view that notwithstanding the dismissal of
the writ petition, the petitioner, viz. C.M Bahuguna who is still in service in
the promoted post, should be allowed to continue in the said promoted post, if
necessary, by creating a supernumerary post. However, we make it clear that all
further promotions shall be made in the light of this order."
The case of State of Punjab and others vs. Bakshish Singh
(1998) 8 SCC
222 is also important. There was a departmental proceeding against a police
constable wherein it was contended by the State that the Apex Court could not
cure inconsistency because the respondent had not filed any cross appeal. The
Court rejected the contention and removed the inconsistency by invoking Article
142 of the Constitution and by referring to Order 41, Rule 33 and Section
107(1)(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
The Court reiterated the position that while exercising power under Article 142
of the Constitution the Court cannot ignore the substantive right of a litigant
while dealing with a cause pending before it and can invoke its power under
Article 142. However, the Court cautioned that the power cannot be used to
supplant substantive law applicable to a case.
It would be apropos to refer to the case of Ram Krishna Verma and others vs.
State of U.P. and others
(1992) 2 SCC 620 wherein the case related to grant
of permit to private operators on nationalised routes. The Apex Court referring
to Articles 136, 142 and 226 of the Constitution held that the Court should
endeavour to neutralise any undeserved and unfair advantage gained by a party
invoking its jurisdiction. The Court observed thus:
"This Court in Grindlays Bank Ltd. v. ITO
held that the High Court while
exercising its power under Article 226 the interest of justice requires that any
undeserved or unfair advantage gained by a party invoking the jurisdiction of
the court must be neutralised. It was further held that the institution of the
litigation by it should not be permitted to confer an unfair advantage on the
party responsible for it.
In the light of that law and in view of the power under Article 142(1) of the
Constitution this Court, while exercising its jurisdiction would do complete
justice and neutralise the unfair advantage gained by the 50 operators including
the appellants in dragging the litigation to run the stage carriages on the
approved route or area or portion thereof and forfeited their right to hearing
of the objections filed by them to the draft scheme dated February 26, 1959."
It would be appropriate to refer to the Apex Court judgment in Delhi Judicial
services Association v. State of Gujarat (1991)4 SCC 406, wherein the Court
relying on earlier precedents elaborated the true scope of Article 142 thus:
"The inherent power of the Supreme Court under Article 142 coupled with the
plenary and residuary powers under Articles 32 and 136 embraces power to quash
criminal proceedings pending before any court to do complete justice in the
matter before this Court. If the court is satisfied that the proceedings in a
criminal case are being utilised for oblique purposes or if the same are
continued on manufactured and false evidence or if no case is made out on the
admitted facts, it would be in the ends of justice to set aside or quash the
criminal proceeding. It is idle to suggest that in such a situation this Court
should be a help- less spectator. 6.3
The Court's power under Article 142(1) to do "complete justice" is entirely of
different level and of a different quality. Any prohibition or restriction
contained in ordinary laws cannot act as a limitation on the constitutional
power of this Court. Once this Court has seisin of a cause or matter before it
has power to issue any order or direction to do "complete justice" in the
matter. This constitutional power of the Apex Court cannot be limited or
restricted by provisions contained in statutory law. [997G] 6.4
What would be the need of "complete justice" in a cause or matter would depend
upon the facts and circum- stances of each case and while exercising that power
the Court would take into consideration the express provisions of a substantive
statute. Once this Court has taken seisin of a case, cause or matter, it has
power to pass any order or issue direction as may be necessary to do complete
justice in the matter. Prem Chand Garg v. Excise Commissioner, U.P. Allahabad,
 Supp. 1 SCR 885 and A.R. Antulay v.R.S. Nayak & Anr.,  2 SCC 602,
Special reference is required for the Apex Court Constitution Bench judgment in
Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India (1991) 4 SCC 574. This is a classic
example of the wide powers of the Apex Court in granting compete/substantial
justice under Article 142 of the Constitution. The Court explained the legal
connotation of the term 'cause or matter' appearing in Article 142 thus:
"The expression "cause or matter" in Article 142 (1) is very wide overing almost
every kind of proceedings in Court. In Halsbury's Laws of England-Fourth Edition
[vol 37] para 22 referring to the plenitude of that expression it is stated:
"Cause or matter-The words "cause and "matter" are often used in juxtaposition,
but they have different meanings. "Cause" means any action or any criminal
proceedings and "matter" means any proceedings in court not in a cause. When
used together, the words "cause or matter" cover almost every kind of proceeding
in court, whether civil or crimi- nal, whether interlocutory or final, and
whether before or after judgment."
Any limited interpretation of the expression "cause or matter' having regard to
the wide and sweeping powers under Article 136 which Article 142 (1) seeks to
effectuate, limiting it only to the short compass of the actual dispute before
the Court and not to what might necessarily and reasonably be connected with or
related to such matter in such a way that their withdrawal to the Apex Court
would enable the court to do "complete justice", would stultify the very wide
constitutional powers. Take, for instance, a case where an interlocutory order
in a matrimonial cause pending in the trial court comes up before the apex
The parties agree to have the main matter itself either decided on the merits or
disposed of by a compromise. If the argument is correct this court would be
powerless to withdraw the main matter and dispose it of finally even if it be on
consent of both sides. Take also a similar situation where some criminal
proceedings are also pending between the litigating spouses.
If all disputes are settled, can the court not call up to itself the connected
criminal litigation for a final disposal? If matters are disposed of by consent
of the parties, can any one of them later turn around and say that the apex
court's order was a nullity as one without jurisdiction and that the consent
does not confer jurisdiction?
This is not the way in which jurisdiction with such wide constitutional powers
is to be construed. While it is neither possible nor advisable to enumerate
exhaustively the multitudinous ways in which such situations may present
themselves before the court where the court with the aid of the powers under
Article 142 (1) could bring about a finality to the matters, it is common
experience that day-in-and-day-out such matters are taken up and decided in this
court. It is true that mere practice, however long, will not legitimize issues
But the argument, pushed to its logical conclusions, would mean that when an
interlocutory appeal comes up before this Court by special leave, even with the
consent of the parties, the main matter cannot be finally disposed of by this
court as such a step would imply an impermissible transfer of the main matter.
Such technicalities do not belong to the con- tent and interpretation of
constitutional powers. To the extent power of withdrawal and transfer of cases
to the apex court is, in the opinion of the Court, necessary for the purpose of
effectuating the high purpose of Articles 136 and 142 (1), the power under
Article 139A, must be held not to exhaust the power of withdrawal and transfer."
The Court in the aforesaid case rejected as unsound and erroneous the
proposition that a provision in any ordinary law irrespective of the importance
of the public policy on which it is founded, operates to limit the powers of the
Apex Court under Article 142(1). The Court widened the scope of Article 142(1)
and categorically ruled thus:
"It is necessary to set at rest certain misconceptions in the arguments touching
the scope of the powers of this Court under Article 142(1) of the Constitution.
These issues are matters of serious public importance. The proposition that a
provision in any ordinary law irrespective of the importance of the public
policy on which it is founded, operates to limit the powers of the Apex Court
under Article 142(1) is unsound and erroneous.
In both Garg's as well as Antulay's case
the point was one of violation
of constitutional provisions and constitutional rights. The observations as to
the effect of inconsistency with statutory provisions were really unnecessary in
those cases as the decisions in the ultimate analysis turned on the breach of
constitutional rights. We agree with Shri Nariman that the power of the Court
under Article 142 in so far as quashing of criminal proceedings are concerned is
not exhausted by Sections 320 or 321 or 482 Cr.P.C. or all of them put together.
The power under Article 142 is at an entirely different level and of a different
quality. Prohibitions or limitations or provisions contained in ordinary laws
cannot, ipso-facto, act as prohibitions or limitations on the constitutional
powers under Article 142. Such prohibitions or limitations in the statutes might
embody and reflect the, scheme of a particular law, taking into account the
nature and status of the authority or the court on which conferment of powers -
limited in some appropriate way - is contemplated. The limitations may not
necessarily reflect or be based on any fundamental considerations of public
Sri Sorabjee, learned Attorney-General, refering to Garg's case
that limitation on the powers under Article 142 arising from "inconsistency with
express statutory provisions of substantive law" must really mean and be
understood as some express prohibition contained in any substantive statutory
law. He suggested that if the expression 'prohibition' is read in place of
'provision' that would perhaps convey the appropriate idea. But we think that
such prohibition should also be shown to be based on some underlying fundamental
and general issues of public policy and not merely incidental to a particular
statutory scheme or pattern.
It will again be wholly incorrect to say that powers under Article 142 arc
subject to such express statutory prohibitions. That would convey the idea that
statutory provisions override a constitutional provision. Perhaps, the proper
way of expressing the idea is that in exercising powers under Article 142 and in
assessing the needs of "complete justice" of a cause or matter, the apex court
will take note of the express prohibitions in any substantive statutory
provision based on some fundamental principles of public-policy and regulate the
exercise of its power and discretion accordingly.
The proposition does not relate to the powers of the court under Article 142,
but only to what is or is not 'complete justice' of a cause or matter and in the
ultimate analysis of the propriety of the exercise of the power. No question of
lack of jurisdiction or of nullity can arise."
The Apex Court thus finally held that the power of the Apex Court to withdraw
unto itself cases pending in the district court at Bhopal is justified
considering the scope and ambit of the power vested in the Court under Article
142 of the Constitution. The Court finally held thus:
"The contention that the Apex Court had no jurisdiction to withdraw to itself
the origi- nal suits pending in the District Court at Bhopal and dispose of the
same in terms of the settlement and the further contention that, similarly, the
Court had no jurisdiction to withdraw the criminal proceedings are reject- ed.
It is held that under Article 142(1) of the Constitution, the Court had the
necessary jurisdiction and power to do so."
It would be worthwhile to refer to the case of Ved Prakash and others vs.
Union of India and others
(1994) 1 SCC 45 wherein the Court noted the
piquant situation caused due to inordinate delay in payment of compensation for
the property acquired under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, the Apex
Court resorting to Article 142, made the following observation:
"The petitioners because of the delay and inaction on the part of the
respondents are in a great predicament. Any amount determined as market value of
their lands acquired, with reference to the dates of issuance of notifications
under sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Act i.e. at the rate prevalent 15-21
years prior to the dates of the making of the award, cannot be held to be
compliance of the mandate regarding payment of market value of the land so
acquired under the Constitution and the Act.
This Court faced with such a situation, where proceedings have remained pending
for years after issuance of declarations under Section 6, in order to protect
the petitioners concerned from irreparable injury i.e. getting compensation for
their lands acquired with reference to the date of notification under
sub-section (1) of Section 4, which may be more than a decade before the date of
the making of the award, has advanced the date of notification under sub-section
(1) of Section, so that market value of the land so acquired is paid at a just
and reasonable rate.
Reference in this connection may be made to the cases of Ujjain Vikas
Pradhikaran v. Raj Kumar Johri
(1992) 1 SCC 328; Akhara Brahm Buta,
Amritsar v. State of Punjab
, (1992) 4 SCC 243 and Bihar State Housing
Board v. Ram Bihari Mahato
, AIR 1988 Supreme Court 2134.
This Court has advanced the date of notification under sub-section (1) of
Section 4 of the Act, in the cases referred to above, without assigning any
reason, as to how the date fixed by Sections 11 and 23 of the Act, can be
altered for ascertainment of the market value of land. The power of this Court
under Article 142 is very wide and can be exercised in the ends of justice. The
scope of the said Article was recently examined in the case of Union Carbide
Corpn. v. Union of India
(1991) 4 SCC 584.
In the case of N.A. Mohammed Kasim (Dead) and another vs. Sulochana and
(1995) Supp(3) SCC 128 which arose from a civil suit this Court in
the facts and circumstances of the case considered it fit for invoking Court's
power under Article 142 for giving equitable relief to the
plaintiff-respondents, not on ground on which they claimed relief in the suit
but on the ground of promissory estoppel equity and fair play."
It would be apposite to refer to the case of Laxmidas Morarji (dead) by L.Rs.
v. Behrose Darab Madan
(2009) 10 SCC 425 which dealt with the provisions of
Article 142 of the Constitution, wherein the Apex Court held thus:
" ....The power under Article 142 of the Constitution is a constitutional power
and hence, not restricted by statutory enactments. Though the Supreme Court
would not pass any order under Article 142 of the Constitution which would
amount to supplanting substantive law applicable or ignoring express statutory
provisions dealing with the subject, at the same time these constitutional
powers cannot in any way, be controlled by any statutory provisions.
However, it is to be made clear that this power cannot be used to supplant the
law applicable to the case. This means that acting under Article 142, the
Supreme Court cannot pass an order or grant relief which is totally inconsistent
or goes against the substantive or statutory enactments pertaining to the case.
The power is to be used sparingly in cases which cannot be effectively and
appropriately tackled by the existing provisions of law or when the existing
provisions of law cannot bring about complete justice between the parties."
The Apex Court in the case of Teri Oat Estates (P) Ltd. V. UT Chandigarh
(2004) 2 SCC 130, held that discretionary relief under Article 142 cannot be
granted on sympathy or sentiments. The Court observed thus:
36..... sympathy or sentiment by itself cannot be a ground for passing an order
in relation whereto the appellants miserably fail to establish a legal right.
... despite an extraordinary constitutional jurisdiction contained in Article
142 of the Constitution of India, this Court ordinarily would not pass an order
which would be in contravention of a statutory provision.
There are a catena of other cases in the past where the Apex Court has invoked
the powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. A division bench of Justice MR
Shah and Justice MM Sundresh has recently upheld the Bombay High Court judgement
quashing the provisions of Consumer Protection Rules, 2020, framed by Central
Government u/s 101 of Consumer Protection Act 2019, which prescribe a minimum
professional experience of 20 years and 15 years for adjudicating members to the
State consumer commissions and District forums respectively and which did away
with the requirement of a written exam for appointment.
The order for Cleansing of Taj Mahal and justice to many undertrials are a
result of the invocation of article 142.Similarly, the Apex Court ordered a ban
for a distance of 500 metres by invoking Article 142 on both the National &
State highways although there was no notification by any of the State
governments in this regard.
It would be relevant to refer to the Constitution Bench judgment in Shilpa
Sailesh v. Varun Sreenivasan
, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 544, decided recently on
01-05-2023. A Constitution Bench of the Apex Court, invoking Article 142 of the
Constitution held that the Apex Court has the discretion to dissolve the
marriage by passing a decree of divorce by mutual consent, without being bound
by the procedural requirement to move the second motion subject to the
requirements and conditions laid down under Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur
(2017) 8 SCC 746 and Amit Kumar v. Suman Beniwal
, 2021 SCC OnLine SC
1270. It was also held that in exercise of power under Article 142(1) of the
Constitution of India, Supreme Court has the discretion to dissolve the marriage
on the ground of its irretrievable breakdown.
The Court in the aforesaid case lauded the purpose & intent of Article 142 in
the following words:
"This provision, apparently unique as it does not have any counterpart in most
of the major written constitutions of the world, has its origin in and is
inspired from the age-old concepts of justice, equity, and good conscience.
Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India, which gives wide and capacious
power to the Supreme Court to do 'complete justice' in any 'cause or matter' is
significant, as the judgment delivered by this Court ends the litigation between
Given the expansive amplitude of power under Article 142(1) of the Constitution
of India, the exercise of power must be legitimate, and clamours for caution,
mindful of the danger that arises from adopting an individualistic approach as
to the exercise of the Constitutional power."
It is noteworthy that while interpreting Article 142(1) of the Constitution of
India, in M. Siddiq (Dead) Through Legal Representatives (Ram Janmabhumi
Temple Case) v. Mahant Suresh Das and Others
(2020) 1 SCC 1 the Constitution
Bench of this Court has summarised the contours of the power thus:
"1023. �The phrase 'is necessary for doing complete justice' is of a wide
amplitude and encompasses a power of equity which is employed when the strict
application of the law is inadequate to produce a just outcome. The demands of
justice require a close attention not just to positive law but also to the
silences of positive law to find within its interstices, a solution that is
equitable and just. The legal enterprise is premised on the application of
generally worded laws to the specifics of a case before courts.
The complexities of human history and activity inevitably lead to unique
contests "such as in this case, involving religion, history and the law - which
the law, by its general nature, is inadequate to deal with. Even where positive
law is clear, the deliberately wide amplitude of the power under Article 142
empowers a court to pass an order which accords with justice. For justice is the
foundation which brings home the purpose of any legal enterprise and on which
the legitimacy of the rule of law rests.
The equitable power under Article 142 of the Constitution brings to fore the
intersection between the general and specific. Courts may find themselves in
situations where the silences of the law need to be infused with meaning or the
rigours of its rough edges need to be softened for law to retain its humane and
Article 142 encompasses a power of equity, employed when the strict application
of the law is inappropriate to produce an outcome. The provision ensures that
complete justice is provided and promotes equity as well as fairness. It helps
in harmonizing conflicting interests by ensuring a balance between individual
rights and societal interests.
It is a unique power that allows the Supreme Court to do complete justice
between the parties at times when the statute or law may not provide a remedy.
The extra-ordinary jurisdiction under Article 142 is broadly exercised in two
situations by the Supreme Court either to dispose of 'complete justice' or fill
the 'legislative gaps'.
From the conspectus of the views expressed in the decided cases referred to
above it is clear that this Court has invoked the power vested under Section 142
of the Constitution in different types of cases involving different fact
situations for doing complete justice between the parties.
Written By: Inder Chand Jain
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 8279945021