TOPIC- PLEA BARGAINING
- Introduction and Meaning of Plea bargaining-
Plea bargaining is a concept widely recognized in the United States of America and inserted by the Code of Criminal Procedure(Amendment) Act, 2005. Sections 265A-265L deals with Plea bargaining under the Code.
Plea bargaining is a concept of negotiation on behalf of the accused by accepting his guilt in the Court so that he may be awarded a lighter punishment for the offense committed by him. It is a kind of a deal between the accused and the prosecution by which the accused agrees to plead guilty to a charge which is less serious in nature without going through the long procedure of trail in the Court. Plea bargaining is therefore the best concept for the early disposal of trails.
It originated in America and even today 90% of the criminal cases in America are disposed of by Plea bargaining. As a well recognized fact that the Litigation process is slow and very expensive, the legislature thought of adopting Alternative dispute resolution methods for the quick and cheap disposal of cases, Plea bargaining is one amongst them which proves to be useful for the victim as well as the accused and also the Court in disposing of the Matter effectively and without much delay because Justice delay is equal to Justice denied.
- Who are entitled to take the benefit of Plea bargaining?
To obtain the benefit of Plea bargaining, an application has to be filed by the accused before the Magistrate.
Section 265B states that who are the persons that are entitled to file the application of Plea bargaining-
- Any accused against whom a trail is pending and who is above the age of 18 years.
- Section 265D provides that the accused should not be a juvenile child under Section 2(k) of the Juvinile Justice( Care and Protection of Children Act), 2000.
- Section 265B(2) provides that the accused should not have been convicted earlier for the same offense.
- Section 265B(1) provides that the application of plea bargaining must be filed by the accused in that court where the trail is pending.
- Section 265(2) provides that what all contents the application of plea bargaining shall contain-
- A brief description of the case and the offense committed by the accused.
- The application should accompany an affidavit by the accused stating that he is voluntarily filing this application and must contain a statement that he has not been convicted earlier for the same offense.
- Section 265B(3) provides that on receiving such application of plea bargaining the Court shall send a Notice to the- to the Public Prosecutor or the Complainant, as the case may be and the accused to appear on the date fixed for the case.
- On the fixed date when the accuse appears before the Court, the Court shall examine him (in camera) and at this time the Court shall satisfy itself that the application filed by the accused is filed by him voluntarily.
- When the Court is satisfied that the application was filed by the accused voluntarily, it shall direct the Prosecutor or the Complainant to negotiate with the accused and such negotiation shall also include paying of compensation to the aggrieved.
- But in any case if the Court finds that the application was not filed voluntarily by the accused then the Court shall not consider such application and shall proceed according to the normal trail provided under the Code.
- Section 265D states that where a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case has been worked out between the Complainant and the Accused then the Court shall pass an order of compensation to the victim.
- The judge of the Court in case of plea bargaining shall be final and no appeal lies against such judgment subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 136 or of the Hight Court under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution.
- TYPES OF PLEA BARGAINING
- Charge bargaining-
Negotiating on the charges put forth against the accused in the trail.
2. Sentence Bargaining-
Pleading guilty on the stated charge for obtaining lighter sentence.
3. Fact Bargaining-
Involves an admission of certain fact in return for an agreement, not to introduce certain other facts into evidence.
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