President has no role to play in Perarivalan’s plea : Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has said that the Tamil Nadu Governor is bound to abide by the state cabinet's decision to release AG Perarivalan, who had spent more than 30 years in jail under life imprisonment for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The Supreme Court disagreed with the Central government’s suggestion that the court should wait till the President took a call on mercy plea.
The apex court, while rejecting the Governor's move to send the mercy petition to the President, said that if something is happening against the Constitution, then the eyes cannot be closed.
The pertinent question was whether the Governor had the authority to send mercy petitions to the President.
Under Article 161 of the Constitution, the Governor was bound by the aid and advice given by the Tamil Nadu Council of Ministers in September 2018.
The Governor had no prima facie power to transfer the mercy petition to the President.
Article 161 of the Constitution
Article 161 of the Constitution empowers the Governor to pardon or reduce the sentence of any prisoner.
The decision of the Governor will be subject to judicial review by the Constitutional Courts.
What is Pardon?
A pardon is a government/executive decision that allows a person to be absolved of an offence for an alleged offence or other legal offence as if the offender had never committed the crime.
Difference Between the Pardoning Powers of the President and the Governor
The powers of the Governor are limited to offences against the law relating to the matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
The governor cannot pardon the death sentence but the president can pardon the death sentence.
The Governor cannot grant pardon, reprieve, suspension, remission or commutation in respect to punishment or sentence by a court-martial. But the President can do so.
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