New Delhi, April 19: The Supreme Court today rejected pleas from L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and other BJP leaders that the trial shouldn't be shifted from Rae Bareli to Lucknow, saying it had extraordinary powers to render complete justice in a case.
"The Latin maxim Fiat justitia ruat cælum is what first comes to mind on a reading of Article 142. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall. This Article gives a very wide power to do complete justice to the parties before the court, a power which exists in the Supreme Court because the judgment delivered by it will finally end the litigation between the parties," Justice R.F. Nariman, writing the judgment, said.
"It is important to notice that Article 142 follows upon Article 141 of the Constitution, in which it is stated that the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India."
Senior advocate K.K. Venugopal had argued that the rights of the accused to life and liberty would be affected if the trial were shifted.
Even accused persons, Venugopal contended, are entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights.
The bench, which also included Justice P.C. Ghose, rejected the argument. "Every judgment delivered by the Supreme Court has two components - the law declared which binds courts in future litigation between persons, and the doing of complete justice in any cause or matter which is pending before it," it said.
"It is, in fact, an Article (142) that turns one of the maxims of equity on its head, namely, that equity follows the law," the bench added.