The powers conferred to Courts in addition to their original wands of justice are referred to as the Inherent Powers of the Court. These are left to the discretion of Court to decide the implementation of these powers; never hindering the Code of Civil Procedure which bounds the working methodology of Courts. The Inherent Powers finds their existence under Section 482 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which says that “Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. “

Different Courts are allotted with a different set of powers depending upon their position in judicial hierarchy.

Inherent Powers of Supreme Court:

The Constitution confers wide powers upon the Supreme Court such as the power to grant special leave against orders or decrees from any court or tribunal in the country. Article 142 is one such provision in our Constitution which empowers the Supreme Court to pass such “decree or order as may be necessary for doing complete justice between the parties”. The scope and ambit of the Supreme Court’s power under Article 142 has often been subject to judicial scrutiny. The question that the Court has often faced is whether an order made under Article 142, being a constitutional provision, could override express statutory provisions? Thus the Court was of the view that the power under Article 142 should not be so exercised as to violate an express statutory provision dealing exclusively with the subject in spite of holding that statutory provisions cannot be a limitation on exercise of Article 142.

Inherent Powers of High Courts:

Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. provides for the saving of inherent powers of High Court. The inherent power of High Courts can be exercised:

  1. To give effect to an order under the Code
  2. To prevent abuse of the process of Court
  3. To secure the ends of justice.

The section does not lay any specific power which can be classified as inherent powers of High Court. But it only lays the situations where it can be exercised. These powers are wide but have to exercise judicially by the courts.

Inherent Powers of Subordinate Courts:

Under identical circumstances in a Civil Court, the Civil Judge or Munsif takes recourse to inherent powers as under Section 1513 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC). Just like CPC, CrPC too has its provision saving inherent powers under Section 482 but whether a Magistrate or for that matter any other Criminal Court in subordinate judiciary, including Sessions Court, can make use of this provision for  correction of clerical and arithmetic mistakes. But, it is only valid for Civil Matters as, the Subordinate Criminal Courts have no inherent powers.

Inherent Powers of Lok Adalats:

All the inherent powers of the Subordinate Civil Courts are applicable for Lok Adalats too.


The judiciary is imparted with many responsibilities and in order to carry out them, they were in urgent need of certain additional powers which would make their working more flexible and with Inherent powers coming up it has given Courts much more relaxation while giving out verdicts and has also made the handling of cases in an easier way.