Success of plea bargaining in India

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

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Plea bargaining is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that has been gaining popularity in India. It is a process whereby an accused person agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence. The aim of plea bargaining is to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system and expedite the disposal of cases. In this blog post, we will discuss the success of plea bargaining in India.

History of Plea Bargaining in India

The concept of plea bargaining was introduced in India in 2005 through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2005. The act introduced provisions for plea bargaining in cases where the maximum punishment is imprisonment for seven years or less. The Supreme Court of India also recognized the concept of plea bargaining in the landmark case of Murlidhar Meghraj Loya v. State of Maharashtra in 1976.

Success of Plea Bargaining in India

Plea bargaining has been successful in India, and it has helped to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), plea bargaining has resulted in the disposal of a large number of cases in a short period. In 2018, a total of 13,452 cases were disposed of through plea bargaining in India.

Plea bargaining has also helped to reduce the backlog of cases in Indian courts. The Indian judiciary is burdened with a large number of pending cases, and plea bargaining has helped to expedite the disposal of cases. This has helped to reduce the burden on the courts and has improved the efficiency of the criminal justice system.

Plea bargaining has also helped to reduce the number of under-trial prisoners in Indian jails. According to the NCRB, 67% of prisoners in India are under-trials. Plea bargaining has helped to reduce the number of under-trial prisoners by disposing of cases quickly and reducing the burden on the courts.

Challenges Faced by Plea Bargaining in India

Despite its success, plea bargaining faces some challenges in India. One of the challenges is the lack of awareness among the general public about plea bargaining. Many people are not aware of the concept of plea bargaining and its benefits.

Another challenge is the reluctance of the accused to plead guilty. In some cases, the accused may not want to plead guilty, even if it means a more lenient sentence. This can result in a longer and more expensive trial.

Conclusion

In conclusion, plea bargaining has been successful in India, and it has helped to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system. It has helped to reduce the backlog of cases, improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system, and reduce the number of under-trial prisoners. However, plea bargaining faces some challenges, such as the lack of awareness among the general public and the reluctance of the accused to plead guilty. These challenges can be addressed through education and awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of plea bargaining. Overall, plea bargaining is a useful alternative dispute resolution mechanism that has the potential to improve the criminal justice system in India.