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What Is Plea Bargaining ? - Types & Other Provisions

The plea bargaining is an agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty or accepts conviction but does not plead or admit guilt to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor.

Plea Bargaining was introduced under Section 265A to 265L of Criminal Procedure Code [Chapter XXIA] , 1973 , through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2005, which was passed by the Parliament and . It became effective from 5th July 2006.

Types of Plea Bargaining

Plea Bargaining are of two types :

Charge Bargaining

In this, the accused pleads guilty in exchange of the promise made by prosecutor to reduce or dismiss some of the charges brought against him.

Sentence Bargaining

In this, the accused pleads guilty in exchange of a promise by the prosecutor to recommend a lighter or alternative sentence.

When can a plea bargaining gets allowed?

It allows in the cases where -

1. the maximum punishment is imprisonment for 7 years;

2. the offenses don’t affect the socio-economic condition of the country;

3. When the offenses are not committed against a woman or a child .

As, the provisions of the chapter are not applicable to any juvenile, or child.

Other Provisions

  • A person accused of an offence may file an application for plea bargaining in the Court in which such offence is pending for trial.

  • If the Court finds that minimum punishment has been provided under the law for the offence committed by the accused, it may sentence the accused to half of such minimum punishment; or it may sentence the accused to one-fourth of the punishment provided or extend able, as the case may be, for such offence.

  • The judgment delivered by the Court under section 265 G shall be final and no appeal shall lie against it except the special leave petition under Article 136 and writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution.