The judgment in the Sushant Singh Rajput's death case is set to go down in the judicial history as the first case when a single judge bench exercised its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
Justice Hrishikesh Roy, presiding over the single judge bench in the Supreme Court, ordered for a CBI investigation in the actor's death case under Article 142.
"To ensure public confidence in the investigation and to do complete justice in the matter, this Court considers it appropriate to invoke the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution," maintained Justice Roy.
The judge turned down the objection by senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented the Maharashtra government, in this regard.
Singhvi had said a single judge bench cannot exercise the powers under Article 142 and that it must be a bench having strength of at least two judges.
"This power is neither vested in the learned Single Judge vide Supreme Court Notification dated 17th September 2019, nor is it a power arising from or relatable to Section 406 of the CrPC. which alone is entrusted to the learned Single Judge," the senior lawyer had argued.
But Justice Roy did not accept this contention. The judge held: "As a Court exercising lawful jurisdiction for the assigned roster, no impediment is seen for exercise of plenary power in the present matter."
Justice Roy further noted that Article 142 uses the words "Supreme Court in exercise of its jurisdiction" may pass all suitable orders necessary for doing complete justice.
Therefore, there is no prohibition under the Constitution for a single judge bench, hearing a vase assigned as per roster, to invoke its authority under Article 142.
Article 142 allows the apex court to pass any order necessary to do "complete justice" in any case. "The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it..." the Article states.