ISLAMABAD Article 45 of the Constitution empowers the Government to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority. The President exercises this power under Article 45 of the Constitution strictly in accordance with the advice tendered to him by the Prime Minister under Article 48(1) of the Constitution read with Schedule V-B of the Rules of Business, 1973. The Spokesman of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting stated this on Wednesday while explaining the stance of the Government, says a press release issued here on Wednesday. The Spokesman said under the Rules of Business 1973 (item 11, Serial No. 18 of Schedule-II), the Interior Division initiates summary for grant of remissions on different occasions and the Prime Minister tenders his advice to the President. The remissions are granted to the prisoners on auspicious occasions. The Spokesman said that in 1997, then President Muhammad Rafique Tarar, on the advice of the then Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, granted remission of one-fifth (remission of 5 years in case of life imprisonment) and also granted total remission to male prisoners of 65 years or above and to female prisoners of 60 years of age or above if they had served the imprisonment for 10 years. The Spokesman said that in 1988, the then President Ghulam Ishaque Khan, on the advice of the then Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, commuted death sentence into life imprisonment and granted pardon to all women except those convicted for murder and remitted sentence of convicts who were above 60 years and had served imprisonment of 5 years or more. The Spokesman said the then President Muhammad Rafique Tarar, on the advice of the then Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, granted total remission of four years and six months during the year 2000. The Spokesman said, Chapter 8 of the Jail Manual/Pakistan Prison Rules prescribes a system and rules allowing a convict the benefit of remission. Under chapter XXIX of the Criminal Procedure Code the Provincial Government is also empowered to grant remission. These remissions have been being granted since 1947. On Thursday, the 8th April, 2010, the President received a summary from Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, after passing of the 18th Amendment Bill by the National Assembly, with the advice to grant remission of one-fourth of sentence to the prisoners. The President approved the proposal on the next day. This remission will, however, not be admissible to those convicted of murder, espionage, subversion, anti-state activities, terrorist acts (as defined in the Anti-Terrorism (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 1999, kidnapping / abduction for ransom, robbery (Section 394 PPC), dacoity (Section 395-396 PPC) and those undergoing sentences under the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Spokesman added.