Legislative Commentary: The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

Tarsh Khanna
Symbiosis Law School, Pune, India

Volume III, Issue II, 2020

A Hamletian Dilemma- To Mercy or not to mercy. What are the responsibilities of the state when it decides to punish a person for a crime? The debate whether to retain or abolish the provision of mercy petition is unending. The negative implications of the provision have, in multiple cases, led to a public and media outcry for failure in the administration of justice, such as in the case of Afzal Guru, Nirbhaya, etc. This article traces the expediency of the powers to grant pardon prescribed in the Indian constitution, and the jurisprudence developed in the court of law. The article commences with the origin and the history of the provision, then explains its scope and intricacies. Furthermore, it justifies the necessity of the provision in spite of its repercussions, in the modern civilized society.


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