The Supreme Court is set to announce its decision on a series of petitions regarding its extensive powers under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution. This provision allows the apex court to dissolve marriages that have broken down irretrievably without referring the case to family courts for lengthy judicial proceedings.
The Constitution bench, led by Justice S K Kaul, will also determine whether the court’s broad authority under Article 142 is restricted in any way if one of the parties resists a divorce even if the court believes that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
Article 142 empowers the Supreme Court to enforce decrees and orders in order to provide “complete justice” in any matter before it. This provision has been the subject of debate, with some arguing that it gives the court excessive power in family law matters.
The petitions before the court have raised concerns about the ease with which the court can dissolve marriages without the involvement of family courts. Critics argue that this can lead to hasty decisions that do not take into account the nuances of each case.
On the other hand, proponents of Article 142 argue that it is necessary to prevent individuals from being trapped in unhappy and dysfunctional marriages for years. They argue that the provision enables the court to act in the best interests of the parties involved and provide timely relief.
The decision of the Constitution bench is eagerly awaited, as it will have significant implications for the interpretation and application of Article 142 in future cases. The verdict will also shed light on the court’s role in family law matters and the extent to which it can exercise its powers to provide “complete justice”.