Constitution of India

Article 140 – Ancillary powers of Supreme Court

The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next Article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.


140. “Ancillary powers of Supreme Court.—Parliament may by law make provision for conferring upon the Supreme Court such supplemental powers not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Constitution as may appear to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by or under this Constitution.”


Article 140 corresponds to section 215 of the Government of India Act, 1935. Such a provision was not included in the first Draft Constitution prepared by the Constitutional Adviser (October 1947). But, Article 116 of the Draft Constitution prepared by the Drafting Committee (February 1948) provided for conferment of ancillary powers on the Supreme Court. Draft Article 116 came for discussion in the Constituent Assembly on 27th May, 1949. There were only two amendments, but none of these was moved as the first amendment in the name of Kamath was found to be negative and so inadmissible and the other one was of a drafting nature. Draft Article 116 was adopted to be added to the Constitution. It was re-numbered as Article 140 at the revision stage.

Under Article 140, Parliament may, by law, confer such supplementary powers on the Supreme Court as may appear to be necessary to enable it to perform effectively the functions placed upon it under the Constitution but such supplementary powers should not be inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Constitution.

Source : Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap, Constitutional Law of India

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