Supreme Court cannot exercise power of pardon vested with President, Governor [Polity]
- The constitutional power of the executive to grant pardon to convicts cannot be exercised by apex court unless there is a violation of fundamental rights.
- Article 32 can only be invoked when there is violation of any fundamental right or in the “realm of public interest litigation“.
- “The argument that when a pardon or remission can be given under Article 72 (by President) or 161 (by Governor) of the Constitution by the constitutional authority, this court can exercise the similar power under Article 32 of the Constitution, is absolutely based on an erroneous premise” SC said.
- The observation came on the pleas of some persons convicted under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act who were seeking grant of remission of their 10-year sentence as the relief was not available to them under the New Punjab Jail Manual of 1996.
- The apex court said the factual matrix of the case “does not remotely suggest” that there has been violation of any fundamental right of the petitioners and thus, their plea to invoke Article 142 (enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court) of the Constitution, along with Article 32, was “absolutely fallacious“.