From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Article 161
Mains level : Pardoning power of president vs. governor
The Supreme Court has recently said that the investigation into the conspiracy behind Ex-PMs assassination in 1991 need not deter the Governor from deciding the plea for pardon of convicts.
What did the court say exactly?
- The court made it clear that it was reluctant to exercise its jurisdiction when the Governor was already seized of convict’s plea for a pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution.
Try this PYQ now:
Q.Which of the following are the discretionary powers given to the Governor of a State?
- Sending a report to the President of India for imposing the President’s rule
- Appointing the Ministers
- Reserving certain bills passed by the State Legislature for consideration of the President of India
- Making the rules to conduct the business of the State Government
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Pardoning Powers of Governor
- Article 161 deals with the Pardoning Power of the Governor.
- The Governor can grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishments or suspend, remit and 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.
- The Governor cannot Pardon a Death Sentence. (The President has the power of Pardon a death Sentence).
- The Governor cannot grant pardon, reprieve, respite, suspension, remission or commutation in respect to punishment or sentence by a court-martial. However, the President can do so.
- Pardon: means completely absolving the person of the crime and letting him go free. The pardoned criminal will be like a normal citizen.
- Commutation: means changing the type of punishment given to the guilty into a less harsh one, for example, a death penalty commuted to a life sentence.
- Reprieve: means a delay allowed in the execution of a sentence, usually a death sentence, for a guilty person to allow him some time to apply for Presidential Pardon or some other legal remedy to prove his innocence or successful rehabilitation.
- Respite: means reducing the quantum or degree of the punishment to a criminal in view of some special circumstances, like pregnancy, mental condition etc.
- Remission: means changing the quantum of the punishment without changing its nature, for example reducing twenty-year rigorous imprisonment to ten years.