Plea bargaining means pre trial negotiation between the accused and
prosecution during which the accused agrees guilty in exchange for certain
concessions by the prosecution. It is a bargain where a accused pleads guilty to
a lesser charge and prosecution.
Origin of plea bargaining
Plea bargaining concept originated in the United States and it has been evolved
over the ages to become a prominent of the American criminal justice system.
Plea Bargaining usually negotiations to reduce either the sentence or
seriousness of the charge.
In landmark decision in US court in Brady vls United States ,the court upheld
the constitutionality of Plea Bargaining.
In USA, the accused can put forward one of the there plea i.e guilty, not
guilty and Nolo contendere (Nolo contendere ia a legal term that comes from the
Latin phase for " I do not wish to contend"). A person who pleads nolo
contendere submits for a judgment fixing a fine or sentence the same as it he or
she pleaded guilty.
The concept of plea bargaining in India.
The law commissions efforts promotes the insertion of the provisions
concerning Plea Bargaining via its 142nd , 154th ,177th report. The new
chapter XXIA, containing Section
265A TO 265 L inserted by the criminal law
(amendment) Act 2005.
There are three types of plea bargaining:
- Charge bargaining
Negotiating for dropping some charge in a case of multiple charge or settling
for a less grave charge is called change bargaining
- Sentence bargaining
Where the accused has an option of admitting guilt and settling for a lesser
- Fact bargaining
Negotiation whch involves an admission to certain facts in return for an
agreement not to introduce certain other facyts is facts bargaining.
265 A to 265 L of criminal procedure code 1973 ( herein after referred
as crpc) contain provisions concerning Act.
265A provides who can take benefits of plea bargaining , according to
provision of the present chapter any accused may take course of plea bargaining
- police case charge sheet/complaint report has been filed against the
accused that an offence punishable of death or imprisonment for life or of
imprisonment for a term exceeding seven years.
- Also an accused charged with an offence against a women or a child below
14 years of age.
- Affecting the socio economic conditions of the country.
- Where the accused is a previous convict of such an offence.
- Where the accused is a habitual offender( it was held in case of state
of Gujarat v/s Natwar Harchandji Thakor)
265 B permits the accused to file for application for plea bargaining.
265 C in working out a mutually satisfactory deposition������.
256 D where the meeting under Section
256C,the satisfactory deposition
of the case has been worked out, the court shall prepare a report of such
disposition which shall be signed by the presiding officer of the court and all
other persons who participated in the meeting and if no such disposition has
been worked out , the court shall record such observation and proceed further
in accordance with the provisionsof this code.
256 E where the satisfactory disposition of the case has been worked
out under Section
265 D, the court shall dispose in the following
- The court shall award compensation to the victim and hear the parties on
the quantum of the punishment, release the accused on probation of good
conduct or after admonition of u/sec of 360 of probation of offenders
- The court may sentence the accused to half of such minimum punishment
provided under the law for the offence committed by the accused.
- If minimum sentence is not provided under the act, the court may
sentence the accused tone forth of the punishment provided or extendable ,as
the case may be, for such offence.
256 F The court shall deliver judgment I n open court and signed by
the presiding officer of the court.
256 G The judgment delivered by the court shall be final and no such
appeal (except the SLP under article 136 and writ petition under Article 226 and
227 of the constitution) shall lie in any court against such judgment.
256 H the court shall have purpose of discharging its functions under
this chapter , all the powers vested in respect of bail , trial of offences and
the other matters relating to the disposal of cases in such court under this
256 I The provisions of Section
428 shall apply , for setting off the
period of detention undergone by the accused against the sentence of
imprisonment under provision of this code.
256 J the provisions of this chapter shall have effect notwithstanding
anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other provisions of this code
and nothing in such other provisions shall be constructed to constrain the
meaning of any provision of this chapter.
256 K the statements or facts stated by an accused in an application
for plea bargaining file under Section
256 �B shall not be used for any other
purpose except for the purpose of this chapter.
256 L nothing in this chapter shall apply to any juvenile or child as
defined in sub �clause(k) of Section
2 of the juvenile justice (care and
protection of children) ACT, 2Q00(56 of 2000).
In my view plea bargaining is very good concept, plea bargaining leads to speedy
trial and fast justice to victim. it can also save time and long drawn judicial
- The code of criminal procedure as amended by the criminal law (
amendment) Act, 2013 21st edition by B M Prasad and Manish Mohan