Article 142 of the Constitution of India is in the limelight again after the Supreme Court on Saturday paved the way for the
construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh. Also read: Meet five Supreme Court judges who delivered the judgment
The 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi used Article 142 to allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.
Article 142 in Ayodhya Judgement
The apex court in its historic judgement said: "This Court in the exercise of its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution must ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied. Justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law. The Constitution postulates the equality of all faiths. Tolerance and mutual co-existence nourish the secular commitment of our nation and its people."
What is Article 142?
142. Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to discovery, etc
( 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, 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 order prescribe
(2) 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.
Has the Supreme Court used Article 142 earlier?
The apex court has used Article 142 in many cases including cleansing of the Taj Mahal, Union Carbide case, coal blocks allocation case and the ban on the sale of alcohol along national and state highways.
In October this year, the Supreme Court had ordered the dissolution of a marriage of a couple by applying Article 142 of the Constitution of India.A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah said: "We are of the opinion that while protecting the interest of the respondent-wife to compensate her by way of a lump sum permanent alimony, this is a fit case to exercise the powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and to dissolve the marriage between the parties."