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PRESIDENT’S POWERS TO PARDON

PRESIDENT’S POWERS TO PARDON

Context

Recently, President of the United States of America (USA) has exercised his powers under the constitution to pardon his former National Security Advisor.

How US President pardons

  • The President of the US has the constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences related to federal crimes.
  • Clemency is a broad executive power and is discretionary — meaning the President is not answerable for his pardons and does not have to provide a reason for issuing one.

How Indian President pardons

  • The President of India has to act on the advice of the Cabinet.
  • Under Article 72 of the 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 where the sentence is a sentence of death”.
  • Under Article 161, the Governor to has pardoning powers, but these do not extend to death sentences.
  • The President cannot exercise his power of pardon independent of the government. Rashtrapati Bhawan forwards the mercy plea to the Home Ministry, seeking the Cabinet’s advice.
  • The Ministry will forwards this to the concerned state government; based on the reply, it formulates its advice on behalf of the Council of Ministers.

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