Article 142

Article 142

News: The Supreme Court has invoked its extraordinary powers to do complete justice under Article 142 of the Constitution and ordered the release of A.G. Perarivalan in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Why such move?
• The court ordered Perarivalan’s freedom after considering his extended detention of almost 30 years.
• The court used its constitutional rights because of the extended wait and the Governor’s unwillingness to take a decision on the pardon petition.

• Article 142 provides a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do ‘complete justice’ between the parties, where at times law or statute may not provide a remedy, the court can extend itself to put a quietus to a dispute in a manner which would befit the facts of the case.
• The Constituent Assembly emphasised the importance of including such an article in the Constitution.
• The writers of the Constitution believed that this provision was critical for individuals who are forced to suffer because of the legal system’s disadvantageous position in granting required remedies.

Pardoning powers of the President VS Governor:
• The court dismissed the Centre’s argument that the President exclusively, and not the Governor, had the power to grant pardon in a case under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
• Because, this argument would declare Article 161 a “dead letter,” resulting in an exceptional situation in which Governors’ pardons in murder cases dating back 70 years would be rendered invalid.

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