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Revision: Fair Sentencing and the Role of Guilty Pleas-A Human Approach to Criminal Justice

The concept of plea bargaining was not recognized and was against public policy under our criminal justice system. The Supreme Court also observed that the method of short-circuiting the hearing and deciding criminal appeals or cases involving serious offenses requires no encouragement.

It was further observed that the court has to decide the matter on its merits. If the accused confesses guilt, an appropriate sentence is required to be imposed. The approach of the court in criminal appeal or revision should be to determine whether the accused was guilty based on the evidence on record. If he was guilty, an appropriate sentence was required to be imposed or maintained.

If the appellant or his counsel submits that he is not challenging the order of conviction, as there was sufficient evidence to convict the accused of the crime, then also the court's conscience must be satisfied before passing the final order that the said concession was based on evidence on record.

In such cases, a sentence commensurate with the crime committed by the accused is required to be imposed. Mere acceptance or admission of guilt by the accused should not be grounds for reduction of sentence. The accused cannot bargain with the court that, as he is pleading guilty, the sentence be reduced.

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