Legal Article

How the plea bargain can help to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in India

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

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Published on: 29 Mar, 2023

The criminal justice system in India is burdened with a large number of cases, resulting in delays in justice delivery and a significant backlog of cases. To address this issue, the concept of plea bargaining was introduced in India in 2005 through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2005. Plea bargaining is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that involves the accused agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence. In this blog post, we will discuss how the plea bargain can help to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in India.

Reduction of Case Backlog

Plea bargaining has been successful in reducing the case backlog in Indian courts. The disposal of cases through plea bargaining is faster and less time-consuming than a trial. This helps to reduce the burden on the courts and free up the time of judges to focus on more serious and complicated cases.

Efficient Use of Resources

The criminal justice system requires significant resources, including financial, human, and physical resources. Plea bargaining allows for the efficient use of these resources, as fewer resources are required for the disposal of cases through plea bargaining compared to a trial. This, in turn, reduces the burden on the criminal justice system and allows for the efficient use of resources.

Reduction of Under-Trial Population

The under-trial population in Indian jails is a significant issue, with many prisoners languishing in jails for extended periods without trial. Plea bargaining can help reduce the under-trial population by reducing the time it takes to dispose of cases. This, in turn, reduces the burden on jails, which are often overcrowded, and improves the condition of the under-trial population.

Reduction of Cost

The cost of trials can be substantial, with a significant burden on the accused and the state. Plea bargaining can help reduce the cost of trials by reducing the time and resources required for a trial. This, in turn, reduces the burden on the accused and the state and allows for the efficient use of resources.

Conclusion

Plea bargaining is an essential mechanism that can help to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in India. It allows for the efficient disposal of cases, reduces the backlog of cases, improves the efficient use of resources, reduces the under-trial population, and reduces costs. However, plea bargaining also faces challenges such as the reluctance of the accused to plead guilty and the lack of awareness among the general public about plea bargaining. These challenges can be addressed through education and awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of plea bargaining. Overall, plea bargaining is an important tool that can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in India.