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Article 142 Of The Indian Constitution: The Bulwark Of ‘Complete Justice’

Article 142 Of The Indian Constitution: The Bulwark Of ‘Complete Justice’: Interpreting The Contours Within The Creases

Mariya Biju Thattil, B.B.A., LL.B (Hons.), School of Legal Studies, CMR University, Bangalore


Legal realism in the Constitutional interpretation is undoubtedly paramount in ensuring the deliverance of justice in toto. Hitherto, the underlying inspiration drawn from the articulation of ‘complete justice’, is a vintage concept of British origin, that has been exorbitantly employed by the Supreme Court in a myriad of circumstances. The Court appears to have materialized this in deliberately leaving its contours undefined, thereby conceding for a flexibility in dealing with the future exigencies. The inherently intrinsic ambiguity present in the indication of ‘complete justice’, is a reservoir of unenumerated authority, that has been kept undefined and uncatalogued, thereby enduring to be malleable enough, to take its shape in a specific context, as the need may arise.

Paradoxically, the greatest danger to the administration of justice and constitutional interpretation, ensues from the genuine desire of Judges to do justice in each individual case. This flexibility roots to the fact that irrespective of how diligent the legislators may be, it is rather unreasonable to expect them to draft the legislations capable of resolving the upcoming issues. The essence of the transformative constitution, guarantees the the Apex adjudicating authority seldom becomes handicapped in desperation, claiming its inability to issue the required orders when the prevailing laws are inconsistent toward resolving a discord. Nevertheless, when the court is presented with incomplete or defective legislations, it may strive in overturning then, instead of automatically taking recourse of Article 142. Therefore, the present research seeks to scrutinize the applicability of Article 142 of the Constitution of India, by analyzing the interpretations construing ‘complete justice’. It evaluates the dynamics of the provision by asserting the significance of equity if the underlying principle. It dwells into the depths of the intent of the provision and distinguishes between the judge’s prerogative, right and authority. It seeks to answer how an undefined interpretation of the provision could give rise to selective justice; and that of the consensus between the Apex court and the lower courts. Pondering upon the unsettled barricades of ‘complete justice’, to what has expanded over the decades being clothed in judicial activism, must be monitored, to thwart the spade from superseding the fundamental rights and encroaching upon the other organs. While differentiating between the restriction and protection of fundamental rights is spearheaded by Article 32 of the Constitution.


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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