The Supreme Court recently upheld the Employees’ Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014 of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation as “legal and valid” while reading down certain provisions.

 

Details

The court used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to allow eligible employees who had not opted for enhanced pension coverage prior to the 2014 amendments, to jointly do so with their employers within the next four months.

 

About ‘Article 142 of the Constitution’

  • Article 142 of Constitution —
  • Title — Enforcement of decrees, orders of Supreme Court and orders as to discovery, etc.
  • Provisions — This article has two provisions –
    • 142(1) — The Supreme Court may pass an order for doing complete justice.
    • 142(2) — It confers three different powers on the Supreme Court. They are –
      • Securing the attendance of persons before it.
      • Discovery and production of documents and
      • Investigation and punishment of contempt of itself.
  • Article 142(1): Doing Complete Justice —
  • The objective of Article 142(1) is that the Supreme Court must not be dependent on the executive for the enforcement of its decrees and orders.
  • Such dependence would otherwise violate the principles of independence of the judiciary and separation of powers, both of which are part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • In Supreme Court Bar Association v. Union of India (1998), it was decided that this article —
    • Cannot be used to over-ride the existing law, but only to supplement the law and
    • Can be invoked for procedure purposes only.