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Article 142

Source: IE

 Context: The Supreme Court of India has ruled that it can directly grant divorce to couples under Article 142 (1) of the Constitution, which allows it to do “complete justice” in any cause or matter.


What did SC say?

 The court can waive the mandatory six-month waiting period for divorce under The Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), 1955, and allow the dissolution of the marriage on grounds of an irretrievable breakdown even if one of the parties is not willing.


Significance of the decision: The decision enables couples to bypass the time-consuming process of obtaining a decree of divorce through family courts, which have a large number of similar cases pending.


About Article 142:

Article 142 (1) provides discretionary power to the Supreme Court as it states that the SC 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.


ApplicationRelease of AG Perarivalan, one of the life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case; Cleansing of Taj Mahal and granting justice to many undertrials; Ayodhya dispute case
SignificanceIt has been invoked to protect the rights of different sections of the population and serves as a check on the government, acting as a system of checks and balances with the legislature. It provides complete justice to various deprived sections of society or protects the environment
Example of judicial overreachBan on the sale of alcohol along national and state highways where the court extended the ban to State highways as well
Negative Impact Article 142 has some negative aspects such as ambiguity, promoting judicial overreach, and unaccountability. The phrase “complete justice” is still unclear and judgments passed by the Supreme Court have created confusion.