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National Seminar on Clemency in Criminal Justice System

Department of Laws, Panjab University proudly announces a National Seminar on Clemency in Criminal Justice System in collaboration with Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh.

Date: 19th March, 2014

Theme of the Seminar:
"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice." - Abraham Lincoln

Pardoning power has become an integral element in the criminal justice system, a constitutional safeguard against mistakes. The provisions of Indian Constitution empower the President and Governor the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person. The power in these cases is not exercised on their own initiative; rather they act on the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. While the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 provides State governments the power to remit sentences, there are few checks and balances to prevent its arbitrary exercise.

Judiciary has so far played cardinal role in laying down parameters and guidelines for the exercise of this executive power from time to time. Judicial intervention has tried to resolve the debate regarding the judicial review in a number of cases that pardoning power should not be absolute. Delay in disposal of mercy petition erodes right to personal liberty. The present trend in the disposal of mercy petitions manifests the overtones of political influences and lack of uniformity while dealing with these petitions.

It is the duty of the executive to exercise the pardoning power objectively taking into consideration the nature and magnitude of the crime committed by the convict, its impact on society and all incriminating and extenuating circumstances and also the considerations of larger public interest and welfare of the people. Fine balance needs to be maintained by reconciling the individual human rights as well as the larger interests of the society.


  • Jurisprudence of Clemency in Legal System
  • Constitutional And Statutory Provisions
  • Judicial Perspective
  • Commutation of Death Sentence
  • Role of media and political influence
  • Human Rights Issues

The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the legal, administrative and social implications of the recent decisions of the Supreme Court on Capital Punishment and clemency powers.


  1. To create awareness about the Constitutional and Statutory provisions in India in relation to clemency
  2. To deliberate on the need to have a uniform Policy on remission of sentences
  3. To discuss various factors influencing the decisions of pardoning power
  4. To discuss role of judiciary in exercising the pardoning power.

Call for Papers:
Seminar papers are invited from researchers, academicians and students on the main theme and any of the sub themes. It is also proposed that the selected papers by the Committee will be published in a special volume on the seminar in the form of an edited book with ISBN No.

Authors of selected papers would be given an opportunity to present their paper as per requirement of the theme during sessions on the day of the seminar.

Submission Guidelines:

  • An abstract should contain 300 - 350 words, accompanied by a brief profile of the author indicating his/her email ID, contact number and address.
  • Paper should not be of more than 3000 words.
  • It must be typed in Times New Roman Font Size 12 on A4 size paper with 1" margin on all sides with 1.5 line spacing using MS Word.
  • Blue Book style of referencing and footnote should be followed.
  • All the abstracts and full length papers shall be sent on email id:

Important Dates:

  • Abstract Submission: 12th March, 2014
  • Acceptance of abstract 14h March, 2014
  • Full Paper Submission: 16th March, 2014
  • Date of the Seminar 19th March, 2014

Registration Fees:

  • Research Scholars and Students: Rs. 800/-
  • Academicians: Rs. 1000/-

Demand Draft of Registration fee in the name of "Chairperson, Department of Laws, Panjab University" payable at Chandigarh, must reach along with hard copy of the Registration form by 18th March, 2014 on address mentioned below:
Department of Laws,
Panjab University,
Chandigarh - 160014

The accommodation will be provided as per availability on payment basis.

Dr. Shipra Kaushal
Phone: +91-9915001659

Dr. Rajinder Kaur
Phone: +91-9888020030

Prof. Nishtha Jaswal
Director (Seminar) & Chairperson, Department of Laws,
Panjab University, Chandigarh

Download Registration Form

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