CONTEXT: The Supreme Court held that the Governor of a State can pardon prisoners, including death row ones, even before they have served a minimum 14 years of prison sentence.
- The Governor’s power to pardon overrides a provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure — Section 433A —which mandates that a prisoner’s sentence can be remitted only after 14 years of jail.
- Section 433-A of the Code cannot and does not in any way affect the constitutional power conferred on the President/Governor to grant pardon under Articles 72 or 161 of the Constitution.
- Such power is in exercise of the power of the sovereign, though the Governor is bound to act on the aid and advice of the State Government.
The court noted that the sovereign power of a Governor to pardon a prisoner under Article 161 is actually exercised by the State government and not the Governor on his own.
Reference Link: The HinduSpread the Word