This is the Writ Petition filed by one Kehar Singh who was accused and convicted for the consipracy and murder of Indira Gandhi on the following questions.
1. Whether there is justification for the view that when exercising his powers under Art. 72 the President is precluded from entering into the merits of a case decided finally by this Court.
2. To what areas does the power to scrutinise extend?
3. Whether judicial review extends to an examination of the order passed by the President under Art. 72 of the Constitution.
4. Whether the petitioner is entitled to an oral hearing from the President on his petition invoking the powers under Article 72.
Supreme Courts answers as,
We are of the view that it is open to the President in the exercise of the power vested in him by Art. 72 of the Constitution to scrutinise the evidence on the record of the criminal case and come to a different conclusion from that recorded by the court in regard to the guilt of, and sentence imposed on, the accused. In doing so, the President does not amend or modify or supersede the judicial record. The judicial record remains intact, and undisturbed. The president acts in a wholly different plane from that in which the Court acted. He acts under a constitutional power, the nature of which is entirely different from the judicial power and cannot be regarded as an extension of it. And this is so, notwithstanding that the practical effect of the Presidential act is to remove the stigma of guilt from the accused or to remit the sentence imposed on him.
Kehar Singh and Anr Vs Union of India and Anr on 16 December 1988
It is apparent that the power under Art. 72 entitles the President to examine the record of evidence of the criminal case and to determine for himself whether the case is one deserving the grant of the relief falling within that power. We are of opinion that the President is entitled to go into the merits of the case notwithstanding that it has been judicially concluded by the consideration given to it by this Court.
Citations: [1988 SUPP SCR 3 1102], [1989 SCC 1 204], [1989 SCALE 1 242], [1988 SCR SUPL 3 1102], [1989 MPJR SC 10], [1989 CRLJ SC 941], [1989 CRILJ 941], [1988 SCALE 2 1565], [1988 SCR SUPP 3 1102], [1989 AIR SC 653], [1989 CRIMES SC 1 238], [1989 PLJR 23], [1989 SCC CRI 86], [1988 JT 4 693]
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