News: Austrian police were hunting for suspects on Tuesday after at least one gunman killed four people in a rampage in the heart of Vienna overnight. Fourteen people were injured — some seriously — in the attack.
Map of Europe:
2. PARDONING POWERS OF GOVERNOR
News: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) investigation into the “larger conspiracy” behind Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991 need not deter the Tamil Nadu Governor from deciding the plea for pardon of convicts like A.G. Perarivalan, who have been serving their sentence in jail for over two decades.
About the Pardoning Power:
A pardon is a government/executive decision to allow a person to be absolved of guilt for an alleged crime or other legal offense, as if the act never occurred.
Under the Constitution of India (Article 72), the President of India can grant a pardon or reduce the sentence of a convicted person, particularly in cases involving capital punishment. A similar and parallel power vests in the governors of each state under Article 161.
Article 72 says that the president 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.
The pardoning powers of the Indian President are elucidated in Art 72 of the Indian Constitution. There are five different types of pardoning which are mandated by law:
Pardon:means completely absolving the person of the crime and letting him go free. The pardoned criminal will be like a normal citizen.
Commutation:means changing the type of punishment given to the guilty into a less harsh one, for example, a death penalty commuted to a life sentence.
Reprieve:means a delay allowed in the execution of a sentence, usually a death sentence, for a guilty person to allow him some time to apply for Presidential Pardon or some other legal remedy to prove his innocence or successful rehabilitation.
Respite:means reducing the quantum or degree of the punishment to a criminal in view of some special circumstances, like pregnancy, mental condition etc.
Remission:means changing the quantum of the punishment without changing its nature, for example reducing twenty year rigorous imprisonment to ten years.
Similarly, as per article 161: Governor of a State has 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.
It must be relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends.
Please note that President can grant pardon to a person awarded death sentence. But a governor of a state does not enjoy this power.
3. IMD MAY DECLARE COLD WAVE
News: Nights in the Capital continued to get cooler with the minimum temperature settling at 10 degrees Celsius, which was the lowest for the season so far.
The fall in the minimum temperature has been attributed to the absence of cloud cover and snowfall in the upper Himalayas that has blown cold winds towards the region.
About Cold Wave:
It should be based on the actual minimum temperature of a station. Cold Wave is considered when minimum temperature of a station is 100C or less for plains and 0°C or less for Hilly regions.
For Cold Wave to be declared a negative departure from normal has to be 4.5oC to 6.5oC
Factors causing Cold Wave Conditions:
Cold Wave conditions are associated with fall in minimum temperatures during the Winter season. In this season prevailing winds over the Indo Gangetic Plains (IGP) are northwesterlies. As northwesterlies are the winds from colder regions of Central Asia/Hindukush region, they bring temperature fall over the IGP and hence the Cold Wave Conditions.
Whenever a Western Disturbance (WD) approaches clouding develops over IGP bringing fall in Maximum temperatures and rise in minimum temperatures. Thus, Cold Wave conditions over IGP get abated at the approach of a WD.
When a WD moves away from the Indian region, clear skies start appearing over the IGP leading to rise in maximum and fall in minimum temperatures.
Whenever a WD affects North India, winds in lower levels over the region are either from Arabian Sea or from both Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. Given that both types of winds are the moist ones, minimum temperatures rise. At the same time, clouding over the region leads to lesser penetration of solar insolation into the earth and hence fall in maximum temperatures.
Formation of an anticyclone in lower and mid tropospheric levels is also a driver of Cold Waves. Such an anti-cyclone gives rise to sinking motion over the IGP leading to fall in minimum temperatures.