Article 142 : SC rules it can directly grant divorce to couples
Recently the Supreme Court has decided that it can directly approve the divorce of a couple under Article-142.
The Supreme Court in its judgment has said that, if the relationship between husband and wife has deteriorated to such an extent that there is no possibility of reconciliation, then he can directly grant divorce without waiting for the period prescribed under the Hindu Marriage Act-1955.
As per Section 13B(2) of the HMA, the District Court has to pass an order of divorce after six months from the date of filing of application seeking divorce by the couple and before 18 months from the same date on being satisfied with the reasons.
However, the Supreme Court had made it clear that granting divorce on the ground that there is no scope for reconciliation between husband and wife is not a matter of ‘right’ but of discretion.
Article-142 of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to do complete justice between the parties in cases where the law or statute sometimes does not provide any remedy.
The powers conferred under Article-142 are comprehensive in nature. For this reason, the Supreme Court has defined its scope and extent under its different decisions.
Some examples of these decisions:
- Prem Chand Garg Case (1962): In this decision certain limits were set for the exercise of the powers of the Supreme Court under Article-142.
- Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India: In the year 1991, the Supreme Court in this case ordered compensation for the victims citing the broad scope of Article-142.
- Supreme Court Bar Association v. Union of India (1998): According to this judgment, the powers conferred under Article 142 are supplementary. These powers cannot be used to replace or supersede the original law.
Criticism of Article-142 –
- The sweeping nature of the powers conferred under this article is arbitrary and vague.
- The term “complete justice” lacks a standard definition. It violates the principle of separation of powers.
Source – The Hindu