#GS-02 Indian Polity
Pardoning powers of President:
Under article72 of the Indian Constitution;
The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence
- in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court Martial;
- in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
- in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
Pardoning powers of Governor:
Under Article 161 of the Indian Constitution;
- Power of Governor to grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases; The Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
- He cannot pardon the punishment by court-martial.
- The scope of the pardoning power of the President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor under Article 161
What are the different powers of pardon:
- Both the sentence and the conviction of the convict completely absolve the sentences, punishments and disqualifications.
- Awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded to the convict due to some special circumstances.
- This stays the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period.
- This is done to allow the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation.
- Reduces the period of the sentence but the character of the sentence remains the same.
- For example, a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment for one year but the imprisonment remains rigorous.
- Substitutes one form of punishment for a lighter form.
- For example, a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment, which in turn may be commuted to simple imprisonment.
Source “SC orders release of all life convicts in Rajiv case“