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The curative petitions on Nirbhaya gang rape & Murder case, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, who were sentenced to death in the 2012, were rejected by a five-judge Supreme Court Bench, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, on 14th January 2020.

A party can take only two limited grounds in a curative petition — one, he was not heard by the court before the adverse judgment was passed, and two, the judge was biased.

curative petitions on Nirbhaya gang rape?

  • A curative petition on Nirbhaya gang rape & Murder case, is the last constitutional resort available for redressal of grievances in court after a review plea is dismissed or has been exhausted.
  • The curative petition is normally decided by judges in-chamber, in rare and exceptional cases, it can be given an open-court hearing.
  • A curative petition is a second-time review, but not a matter of right. The court will allow a curative petition only when certain requirements as laid down by it are fulfilled.
  • The aggrieved parties have the statutory right to appeal. Once a decision is given by the Supreme Court of India, the same may be considered final and binding.
  • However, in the interest of justice, Article 137 was incorporated into the constitution, which provided that the apex court subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the Supreme Court has the power to review any judgment pronounced or order made by it.

Constitutional Provisions regarding Pardoning powers

Article 72

  • Article 72 provides the pardoning power to the President of India.
  • It says: The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence-
    • in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court-martial;
    • in all cases where the punishment or sentence for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
    • in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.

Article 161

  • Article 161 provides that the Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or 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.
  • In Dhananjoy Chatterjee alias Dhana v State of West Bengal, 1994 case the Supreme Court has said that “The power under Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution can be exercised by the Central and State Governments, not by the President or Governor on their own”.
  • The advice of the appropriate Government binds the Head of the state.

Different types of Pardoning Powers

Pardon

The president can totally absolve/acquit the person for the offence and let him go free like a normal citizen.

Commute

To reduce the type of punishment into a less harsh one. For example Rigorous imprisonment to simple imprisonment.

Remission

To reduce the punishment without changing the nature of the punishment. For example 20 years rigorous imprisonment to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

Reprieve

A delay is allowed in the execution of a sentence, usually a death sentence for a guilty person to prove his innocence.

Respite

Reduce the degree of punishment looking at specific grounds like pregnancy, old age etc.

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