Explain the Pardoning Power of the President.
Ans.Pardoning Power of the President.— Article 72 of the Constitution lays down Pardoning Power of the President. According to this Article President can grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or suspend, remit or commute the sentence or any offence who is convicted of any offence—(a) by Court martial, (b) against any law concerning a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends, or (c) in cases of death sentence. By grant of pardon the offender is absolved from all punishment and he is put in the same position as if the offence was never committed by him. In Keltar Singh v. Union of India, AIR 1989 SC 653, the Supreme Court has laid down that the power of the President to grant pardon under Article 72 of the widest amplitude. It can contemplate many kinds and categories of cases with facts and situations which may vary from case to case. The power of pardon is an integral part of the constitutional scheme. In Kuljeet Singh v. Lt. Governor of Delhi, AIR 1982 SC 774, the Supreme Court made it clear that the exercise of the puwer of the President under Article 72 would have to be examined on the facts and circumstances of each case. In Mann Ram v. Union of India, (1981) 1 SCC 107, the Apex Court laid down that in exercising this power the object and the spirit of Section 433-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure must be taken into account. In a leading case Epuru Sudhakar v. Government ofAndhra Pradesh, AIR 2006 SC 3385, the Apex Court has observed that the pardoning power of the President provided under Article 72 and of the Governors provided under Article 161 is subject to judicial review. This power cannot be exercised on caste or political considerations. In this case, a political party worker was awarded death sentence for murder of a worker of another party. He was granted pardon by the Governor of the Andhra Pradesh. On the challenge being made against constitutional validity of the Governor’s pardon, the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed this order on the ground that the Governor had exercised the pardoning power on political considerations. The Apex Court upholding the judgment of the High Court made it clear that if the pardoning power is exercised on political grounds or caste and religious considerations it would amount to violation of the Constitution.