Supreme Court has invoked its extraordinary powers to do complete justice under Article 142 of the Constitution and ordered the release of A.G. Perarivalan in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.



  • The Supreme Court ordered the release of Perarivalan, invoking powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
  • The court was of the view that the inordinate delay in deciding Perarivalan’s early release plea by the Governor under Article 161 warranted his release.
  • The court observed that the inordinate delay by the Tamil Nadu Governor in exercising his powers under Article 161 can be subject to judicial review.
  • The court opined that the state government is well-within its authority to aid and advise the Governor in pardon/remission pleas pertaining to cases of murder.


Article 142 of the Constitution –

  • Article 142 provides a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do “complete justice” between the parties, where at times law or statute may not provide a remedy.
  • In those situations, the Court can extend itself to put a quietus (soothing effect) to a dispute in a manner that would fit the facts of the case.
  • The necessity for incorporating such an article into the Constitution was spelt out in the Constituent Assembly.
  • The framers of the Constitution felt that this provision is of utmost significance to those people who have to suffer due to the delay in getting their necessary reliefs due to the disadvantaged position of the judicial system.
  • Provisions: This article has 2 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.