Pardoning Powers of President

Context :

  • The President commuted death sentences to life imprisonment in at least 20 cases over the past nine years, based on the recommendations received from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). These commutations were based on the President’s exercise of powers under Article 72 of the Constitution after the convicts filed mercy petitions.

About Article-72 of the Constitution

  • Article 72 of the Constitution gives that the President shall have the power to grant pardon , reprieve, respite or remission of punishment and to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of an offence in
    • a case tried by court martial
    • a case relating to a law to which the executive power of the Union extends.
    • The sentence awarded is of death
  • Pardon shall be exercised by the President and Governor on the advice of Council of Minister
  • Pardon : Completely absolves the offender
  • Reprieve : Temporary suspension of the sentence
  • Respite : Awarding a lesser sentence on special ground
  • Remission : Reducing the amount of sentence without changing its character
  • Commute : Substitution of one form to another ie replace the punishment with less severe punishment. For example for Rigorous imprisonment with simple imprisonment.

Source: Indian Express