Article 142


The Supreme Court utilized its authority under Article 142 of the Constitution to nullify the outcome of the January 30 Chandigarh mayoral election due to deliberate invalidation of eight ballots by the presiding officer.

Article 142

Article 142 of the Indian Constitution grants the Supreme Court a unique power: the ability to pass any decree or make any order necessary for “doing complete justice” in any case before it. This means that even if existing laws or statutes don’t offer a suitable remedy, the Supreme Court can act to achieve a just outcome based on the specific facts of the case.

What it does:

  • Empowers the Supreme Court to go beyond existing legal provisions to ensure “complete justice.”
  • Gives the Court flexibility to craft unique solutions for specific situations.
  • Allows the Court to address issues where the law might be inadequate or outdated.

How it works:

  • The Court can exercise this power in any case pending before it.
  • The decree or order issued must be necessary for achieving complete justice.
  • The order is enforceable throughout India.

Important considerations:

  • This power is not absolute and cannot be used to override established legal principles.
    • The Court has clarified that it cannot be used to modify its own judgments indirectly.
    • There have been concerns about potential misuse and judicial overreach.

    Examples of application:

    • The Court has used Article 142 to award compensation to victims of environmental damage.
    • It has also ordered the government to take specific actions to address social welfare concerns.
    • The power has been invoked in various cases to ensure fair and just outcomes, even in the absence of clear legal provisions.


    Overall, Article 142 plays a crucial role in enabling the Supreme Court to uphold justice in situations where existing legal frameworks may fall short. However, its application requires careful consideration and adherence to established legal principles.