Governor’s powers under Article 161 of Constitution

Governor’s powers under Article 161 of Constitution

Recently the Supreme Court ruled that Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) does not bar the powers of the Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution.


  • The Supreme Court has observed that the power of Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution to commute sentence or to pardon will override the restrictions imposed under Section 433-A of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • The court noted that a prisoner has to undergo a minimum period of imprisonment of 14 years without remission in the case of an offence, the conviction of which carries death sentence, to take benefit of policy of remission framed by an appropriate government under Section 432 of the Code in view of the overriding provision of Section 433-A of the Code.
  • This section limits the powers of the State to suspend the sentence of life imprisonment of such convicts.

Conclusion of the Supreme Court (SC)

  • In this regard, the Supreme Court has clarified that the State Government is empowered to grant remission of punishment to such a prisoner if he has completed 14 years of imprisonment.
  • Provided that if the term of imprisonment is less than 14 years, under Article 161 of the Constitution, the Governor may, on the recommendation of the State Government, grant premature release to the prisoner.
  • Article 161 deals with the Pardoning Power of the Governor. The Governor can grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishments or suspend, remit and commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends.

Source – Indian Express

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