Article 72 of the Constitution empowers the President to grant pardons to persons who have been tried and convicted of any offence in all cases where the:
 Punishment or sentence is for an offence against a Union Law;
 Punishment or sentence is by a court martial (military court); and
 Sentence is a sentence of death.
The pardoning power of the President is independent of the Judiciary; it is an executive power.
The pardoning power of the President includes the following:
It removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the convict from all sentences, punishments and disqualifications.
It denotes the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form. For example, a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment, which in turn may be commuted to a simple imprisonment.
It implies reducing the period of sentence without changing its character. For example, a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment for one year.
It denotes awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact, such as the physical disability of a convict or the pregnancy of a woman offender.
It implies a stay of the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period. Its purpose is to enable the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the President.