UPSC Courses

DNA banner


Monthly DNA

09 Feb, 2021

15 Min Read

Issue of Tamil Nadu Governor under Article 161

GS-II : Governance Federal issues

Issue of Tamil Nadu Governor under Article 161


  • Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has decided that only the President can decide the issue of granting remission to the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

View of the Supreme Court

  • It has often been stressed by the Supreme Court that the clemency powers of the President, under Article 72, and the Governor, under Article 161, stand on an equal footing, and are exercised solely on Cabinet advice.

Article 161 in The Constitution Of India 1949

  • 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

Limitation of A.161

  • The only limitation in Article 161 is that it should relate to “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”.


  • It may be that the Governor decided that it is beyond the State’s executive power because the Rajiv Gandhi case was tried under a central anti-terrorism law and under CBI probe.
  • Further, in a situation arising from the State government’s attempt in 2014 to remit their sentences under the Cr.P.C., the apex court had ruled in 2015 that such remission would require the Centre’s concurrence.
  • However, this is not a tenable argument, as the same judgment made it clear that its opinion was limited to the Cr.P.C. and would not bind the sovereign power conferred on the President or the Governor under the Constitution (A.72 and A.161).
  • Also, it cannot be forgotten that the apex court had dropped charges under the now-defunct TADA, and sentenced the convicts only under the IPC for the murder conspiracy.
  • As the only surviving sentences are under the IPC, there seems to be nothing in law that bars the Governor’s jurisdiction.

Conflict between the State cabinet and the Governor

  • It took Mr. Purohit more than two years — since the State Cabinet advised him in September 2018 to order the convicts’ release — to decide the question.

Centre’s dimension of ‘Zero tolerance’ towards crime

  • One could speculate that the delay reflected the Centre’s concern about releasing those involved in the plot to assassinate a former Prime Minister, and its ramifications for its policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards terror.

Humanitarian dimension

  • The Court should settle this. The convicts’ continuing incarceration for nearly 30 years, notwithstanding the gravity of their crime, has acquired a humanitarian dimension to many.

Way forward

  • It is vital that law and compassion, rather than politics and electoral considerations, form the basis for any decision on their release.

Source: TH

Uttarakhand floods

GS-III : Disaster and Disaster management Flood

Uttarakhand floods


  • The staggering collapse of part of a glacier in Uttarakhand’s Nanda Devi mountain and the ensuing floods that have claimed many lives come as a deadly reminder that this fragile, geologically dynamic region.

Reason of flash floods

  • A significant slice of the glacier, dislodged by a landslide, produced roaring torrents in the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga rivers in Chamoli district, trapping unsuspecting workers at two hydro power project sites (Tapovan project and Tapovan-Vishnughad project).

Risks of hydroelectric power projects

  • Once the crucible of environmentalism, epitomised by Sunderlal Bahuguna, Gaura Devi and the Chipko movement.
  • The State’s deep gorges and canyons have attracted many hydroelectric projects and dams, with little concern for earthquake risk.
    • Example: Red flags have been raised repeatedly, particularly after the moderate quake in 1991 in the region where the Tehri dam was built and the 2013 floods that devastated Kedarnath, pointing to the threat from seismicity, dam-induced microseismicity, landslides and floods from a variety of causes, including unstable glacial lakes and climate change.
  • India is heavily invested in dam development and growth of hydropower, largely in the Himalaya region — especially to cut carbon emissions.
    • Data: By one estimate, if the national plan to construct dams in 28 river valleys in the hills is realised in a few decades, the Indian Himalayas will have one dam for every 32 km, among the world’s highest densities.
  • There may be a miscalculation for reasons, including potential earthquake impacts, monsoonal aberrations that could repeat a Kedarnath-like flood, severe biodiversity loss and extreme danger to communities downstream.
  • The life of dams is often exaggerated, and siltation, which reduces it, is grossly underestimated:
    • Case study: In the Bhakra dam in Himachal Pradesh, for instance, siltation was higher by 140% than calculated.

Way forward

  • The need is to rigorously study the impact of policy on the Himalayas and confine hydro projects to those with the least impact.
  • Relying more on low impact run-of-the-river power projects that need no destructive large dams and reservoirs.

Source: TH

Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding

GS-I : Physical Geography Weathering and Erosion

  • A glacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF) occurs when a breach in the glacial lake causes a sudden surge downstream.
  • Such lakes are formed when glaciers erode land, melt and over time become a large mass of water in the depression formed, and these can be breached, causing floods downstream.
  • In India the status of glacial lakes is checked by Central Water Commission.

Source: TH

Sri Lanka clears a Chinese energy project 50 kms from Rameshwaram

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka govt. has recently cleared a Chinese energy project in 3 islands near to Jaffna peninsula.

  • Sinosoar-Etechwin Joint Venture will be executing the project.

  • These hybrid renewable energy systems projects will be based in Nainativu, Delft and Analaitivu islands located in the Palk Bay.

  • The islands are connected to the Jaffna peninsula a ferry service & are about 50 kms away from Rameshwaram

Source: TH

Other Related News

08 February,2021
Russia to launch around 40 satellites from 18 countries in 2021

Russia is set to put into orbit around 40 satellites from over a dozen different countries all over the world using the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket in March 2021. Soyuz-2.1, a carrier rocket with the Fregat booster will blast off with the South Korean CAS500-1 (Compact Advanced Satellite 500) space

RBI on prioritising economic growth

RBI on prioritising economic growth Present Stance of RBI The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has expectedly yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged and reiterated that it will continue with its accommodative stance (cheap money policy), at least into the next fiscal y

An India-EU trade pact may still remain elusive

An India-EU trade pact may still remain elusive By, Krishnan Srinivasan is a former Foreign Secretary Introduction  New Delhi plans to start negotiations on investment and trade agreements with the European Union (EU). These are likely to run into the same problems as the discuss

The cost of Internet shutdowns

The cost of Internet shutdowns By, Anil K. Antony is the national co-coordinator of AICC’s social media department, and the national coordinator of PIIndia.org Context The movement led by farmers against the Central government’s agricultural laws has become a part of our nati

Nanda Devi Glacial Burst in Uttarakhand: Important PT Points

The glacial burst at the Nanda Devi glacier caused flash floods in Dhauliganga & Rishiganga rivers. Tapovan-Vishnugad project located on Dhauliganga river was washed away. While Rishiganga hydel project was located on Rishiganga River. Originating at Vasudhara Tal, a gla

Safe Internet Day

It is organised by the Insafe/INHOPE network of awareness centres, that is spread across 30 countries and is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility program (CEF) of the EU. It aims to increase awareness about emerging online issues, such as cyberbullying, and chooses a topic reflecting curren

Kurubas demanding "ST" category in Karnataka

The Kuruba community has been demanding the Schedule Tribe tag and held a massive rally in the outskirts of Bengaluru The Kurubas of Karnataka are a traditional sheep rearing community. They are known by different names in other states, such as Kuruma in Andhra Pradesh, Golla in so

Floods in Dhauliganga River Attributed to Climate Change

Glacier retreat, permafrost thaw are being touted as possible reasons for the flooding of Dhauliganga river Environmental experts attributed the Nanda Devi glacial melt to global warming. Glacier retreat and permafrost thaw are projected to decrease the stability of the mountain slopes and in

Clemency Power of the President & the Governor

TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit has decided that only the President can decide the issue of granting remission to the seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. What the constitution says? Under the Constitution of India (Article 72), the President of India can grant a pardo

07 February,2021
Push for entrepreneurs

Push for entrepreneurs Context In her Budget speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced measures to ease norms on setting up one-person companies (OPCs) which would directly benefit start-ups and innovators. What is a one-person company? As the name suggests, a o

Government regulations and tech platforms

Government regulations and tech platforms Context The Centre has issued notice to Twitter after the micro-blogging site restored more than 250 accounts that had been suspended earlier on the government’s ‘legal demand’. The government wants the platform to comply with i

Can a ‘bad bank’ solve the growing NPA crisis?

Can a ‘bad bank’ solve the growing NPA crisis? Context Finance Minister in her Budget speech on Monday revived the idea of a ‘bad bank’ by stating that the Centre proposes to set up an asset reconstruction company to acquire bad loans from banks. The COVID-19 pand

FSSAI's Amended Rules on Capping Trans Fats in Food Products

FSSAI has amended rules to cap trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in food products to 2% by 2022 TFA's are mainly found in baked and fried foods, pre-packaged snacks & cooking oils They increase the shelf life of food by lowering their oxidation potential They are less costly than animal

General Thimaiyya Museum inaugrated at Madikeri by the President

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugrated General Thimayya Museum at Madikeri. He regarded him as one of the India's greatest soldier. He had served as the Chief of Millitary staff between 1957-1961 Additional Info about Madikeri: lies in Western Ghats and is known for its coffee pla

Currency Swap Agreement between SL & India

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) settled a $400 million currency swap facility from the Reserve Bank (RBI) of India. What is a Currency Swap Facility? The term swap means exchange. Under this agreement, two contracting countries loan each other a specified amount in local currencies.

What are Micro Biomes?

Microbiome refers to micro-organisms living inside humans and animals. Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter one’s microbiome forever. The balance of useful and harmful components, if disturbed, results in ill-health.

Magnetic fields in plants

A recent study from Germany found that the Venus flytrap (a carnivore) plant is capable of generating small magnetic fields. When the plant sends electrical signals to trigger the closure of its traps, a biomagnetism phenomenon was observed. The trap gets electrically excited due to touch, os

Budget Announcement for One Person Companies

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced measures to ease norms on setting up one-person companies (OPCs). What is a one-person company? A one-person company is a company that can be formed by just one person as a shareholder How are they different from other companies? Thes

IT Act, 2000: Important Provisions vis-a-vis Social Media Regulation

Tackling harmful content such as hate speech, rumours, inflammatory and provocative messages and child pornography need cooperation between technology services companies and law enforcement agencies. Information Technology Act, 2000, as amended from time to time, governs all activities


28 Jan, 2022
Students Achievement

Search By Date

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts