Pardoning Power of President and Governor

Article 72 and Article 161 empowers the President and therefore the Governors respectively, the facility to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.

Pardoning Powers of Governor |ForumIAS Blog

The pardoning power of the President extends to the:

  •  Punishment or sentence for an offence against a Union Law,
  •  Punishment or sentence is by a court-martial (military court), and
  •  Punishment may be a Death sentence.

Difference Between Pardoning Powers of President And Governor

  • The scope of the pardoning power of the President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor under Article 161 which differs within the following two ways:
  • the facility of the President to grant pardon extends in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial but Article 161 doesn't provide any such power to the Governor.
  •  The President can grant pardon altogether cases where the sentence given is that the sentence of death but the pardoning power of the Governor doesn't reach death sentence cases.

Procedure Followed for Granting Pardon

  •  The method starts with filing a mercy petition with the President under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution
  •  Such a petition is then sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for consideration which is then consulted with the concerned government .
  •  After the consultation, recommendations are made by the house Minister and therefore the petition is shipped back to the President.

SC on Pardoning Powers

● In Maru Ram v Union of India case (1980), the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India held  

that the facility under Article 72 is to be exercised on the recommendation of the Central Government and not by the  

President on his own at his discretion. which the recommendation of the govt is binding on him.

● The Supreme Court in Epuru Sudhakar v Ors. Case (2006) to rule out any case of arbitrariness or executive mala fide upheld that the granting of clemency by the President or Governor are often challenged in court on various grounds like , the order has been passed without application of mind, or the order is  mala fide, or the relevant material has been kept out of consideration.

Lecture – 43 : President – Powers and functions ( Part – 2 ) – Study Lover  Veer




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