Plea Bargaining In India: A Critical Analysis

Vishal Sihag


Plea bargaining is a system, where both parties namely the accused and the prosecutor along with the victim sit and make an agreement after assessment of the crime that has been committed, the damages suffered, and the compensation justified. The system makes sure that no one loses and no one is a winner, it takes care of both sides of the argument without any actual arguments in trial. Plea bargaining is an alternate method of resolution of cases, used to avoid long trials. It has long been used in various criminal justice systems around the world. As per the National Crime Records Bureau in 2011, the number of inmates housed in jails was almost 50,000 more than their capacity. It was estimated that 65.1% of all inmates were under-trials and of these 0.6% had been detained in jail for more than five years at the end of 2011. The idea of plea bargaining or mutually satisfactory disposition is to avoid expenses, unpredictable trials and the potential for harassment in all the small and medium crimes. It reduces the flow of criminal cases in the system and save the time, resources and energy of the system managers to deal with serious crimes, which threaten the national security and may cause large-scale damage to life and property.

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