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Article 142 of the Constitution

  Jul 03, 2022

Article 142 of the Constitution

Q. Why is this in news?

A. The Supreme Court has crafted a victory for a disabled student by using its special powers under Article 142 to declare the successful completion of her Master of Designs course from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

Q. What is Article 142?

A. Article 142 titled ‘Enforcement of decrees and orders of the Supreme Court and orders as to discovery, etc.’ has two clauses:

[1] Article 142(1) 

  • 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.
  • Any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.
  • It may be 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.

[2] Article 142(2) 

  • The Supreme Court shall 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.

Q. Which are some Important instances when Article 142 was invoked?


  • Bhopal Gas tragedy case: The SC awarded a compensation of $470 million to the victims and held that “prohibitions or limitations or provisions contained in ordinary laws cannot, ipso facto, act as prohibitions or limitations on the constitutional powers under Article 142.”
  • Babri Masjid demolition case: The Supreme Court ordered framing of a scheme by the Centre for formation of trust to construct Ram Mandir at the Masjid demolition site in Ayodhya.
  • Liquor sale ban case: The Supreme Court banned liquor shops within a distance of 500 metres from National as well as State highways in order to prevent drunken driving.
  • Ex-PM Assassin case: In the case of Perarivalan, the Supreme Court invoked Article 142(1) under which it was empowered to pass any order necessary to do complete justice in any matter pending before it.