Explained:What is Article 142, invoked by SC to give land for a mosque?

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News:The Supreme Court referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid at the disputed site has said that it was invoking Article 142 to ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied.

Facts:

  • The Supreme Court had used extraordinary powers granted to it by Article 142 of the Constitution to grant five acres of land in Ayodhya to Muslim parties.
  • This was the first time that the court invoked this power in a case involving a civil dispute over an immovable property, involving private parties.

About Article 142:

  • Article 142 provides for the enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court.It consists of two clauses:
  • Article 142(1) states that 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 the orders shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.
  • Article 142(2) states that Supreme Court shall have the power to make any order for the purpose of (a)securing the attendance of any person, (b)the discovery or production of any documents or (c)the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself.

Where was Article 142 used earlier?

  • The Supreme Court had used Article 142 in 1989 to provide relief to the thousands of people affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy.Applying the provision in the case the court had awarded compensation of $470 million to the victims.
  • In 2014, Article 142 was used to cancel allocation of coal blocks granted from 1993 onwards without any specific finding on wrongdoing by those who were allotted these blocks.
  • Article 142 has been used for restoring the white marble of the Taj Mahal and for constituting the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee to probe the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal.