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JAMIAite JAMIAite Presentation Transcript

  • STATUS OF INDIAN JUDICIARY The Judiciary emerged from India's independence as one of the country's most respected institutions, an arbiter to millions of Indians countrywide and a valuable aide to the legislature and executive. The system abjectly failed to expeditiously dispose of the multitude of cases before it and has resulted in a massive logjam of cases and is threatening to completely erode the hallowed reputation once enjoyed by the judiciary. • Over 30 million cases pending in numerous courts across India. • Only approximately 11 judges per million population compared to the recommended norm of 50 judges per million population set by the Supreme Court. • At the current rate, analysts say that it could take anywhere between 350 to 400 years to sort out the entire backlog. 2
  • PENDANCY OF CASES . • The judge – population ratio . • Provision for adjournment. . • Vacation of the court. • Hurried and ill-drafted legislations. . • Unaccountability of the judiciary. • Delay due to professional courtesy of lawyers. 3 View slide
  • STEPS TO BE TAKEN New initiatives like fast track courts ,evening courts , lok adalats , and conciliations and mediations centers ,no doubt helped people in imparting justice through speedy trial & remedies but still the backlogs in courts have not yet decreased The law commission of India in its 142 and 154the report recommended the concept of plea bargaining in India. Though there are various other reforms to be brought in our judicial system but what I believe is that Plea Bargaining is the only way out for us right now. The dream of speedy trials can also be fulfilled with the help of Plea Bargaining . Plea Bargaining will also help in reducing millions of cases pending in out court. In spite of the provision of Plea Bargaining in our legislation, people are unaware of such things. What I consider the need of the hour is to bring in the necessary changes in the legislature and spread awareness among masses about it. It can do wonders for the Indian Judicial system. Plea Bargaining is the process whereby the accused and the prosecutors in a criminal case work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case subject to the court approval. It usually involves the defendant’s pleading guilty to lesser offence as to the one or some of the courts of a multi-count indictment in return for a lighter sentence than that possible for a graver charge. 4 View slide
  • S A L I E N T F E A T U R E S O F P L E A B A R G A I N I N G Applicable only to those offences in which the punishment of imprisonment is up to the period of 7 years. It does not apply where the offence affect the socio - economic conditions of the county or has been committed against a woman. The application for Plea bargaining has to be filed by the accused voluntarily. The accused and the prosecution both are given time to work out to mutually satisfactory disposition of the case. The judgment delivered by the court in the case of plea bargaining shall be final and no appeal lie in any court against such judgment. 5
  • AREAS OF NEGOTIATIONS CHARGE BARGAIN : This happens when the prosecution allows a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge or only for some of the charges framed against him. This gives the accused an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecution and reduce the number and gravity of charges that have been framed against him. For example, a defendant charged with burglary may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to 'attempted burglary'. SENTENCE BARGAIN : This takes place when an accused is told in advance what his sentence will be if he pleads guilty. This can help a prosecutor obtain a conviction if, for example, a defendant is facing serious charges and is afraid of being hit with the 'maximum' sentence. FACT BARGAINING : The least used negotiation involves an admission to certain facts (stipulating to the truth and existence of provable facts, thereby eliminating the need for the prosecutor to have to prove them) in return for an agreement not to introduce certain other facts into evidence. 6
  • DRAWBACKS OF THE CURRENT LEGISLATION The provisions of the Act provides that plea bargaining would be entertained only if the accused opts for it voluntarily, but it has no provision for the courts to reject the settlement arrived at if in an adversarial set-up the opposing parties reach a settlement which is contrary to law. • . Involving police in plea bargaining is also subject to criticism. India, which is well known for custodial torture and pressures exerted by police, there is every possibility of innocent defendants pleading guilty to escape from police torture and harassments in prison. The role of victims in plea bargaining process is also not held as a welcome change. It is apprehended that involving victims in plea bargaining would invite corruption • . 7
  • RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE EXISTING LAW The involvement of police in disposition process of plea bargain should be limited. It would be desirable if its role ends with revealing before the court the information required by the court in the disposition process and it shall not assist either party in the satisfactory disposition process of plea bargain. Though the application of plea bargain is limited only to certain offences, it would be more effective if it is not made applicable to certain graver degree offences such as human rights abuse, which enables the accused to make use of plea bargain and escape with lighter penalties than what is contemplated under law. Transparency is the very basic ingredient for public confidence. So it would be proper to have the examination of accused in open court rather than in camera. It would afford an opportunity for the public to ascertain the bonafide process of plea bargain 8
  • Reasons to support PLEA BARGAINING Most people arrested, are guilty anyway; why bother with a trial. Plea bargaining' is a compromise; both sides give a little and gain a little. It is best for both sides to avail of. Why waste public money; Trials consume time and cost 9
  • CONCLUSION The Concept of Plea Bargaining no doubt undermines public confidence in justice however, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and will help in cleaning smaller offences. This is reflected in the US criminal justice system which has embraced plea bargaining along with its minor defects and is making attempts to iron those defects out. Taking into account the advantages of plea-bargaining, the recommendations of the Law Commission Plea-bargaining was clearly recognized as the need of the hour and by no stretch of imagination can the taint of legalizing a crime will attach to it. At this stage it can be safely held that ‘Law is not a Panacea. It cannot solve all problems , but it can reduce the severity’. Plea bargaining in India endeavors to address the same , which despite its shortcomings can go a long way in speeding the caseload disposition and attributing efficiency and credibility to Indian Criminal Justice. 10
  • REFERENCES I. 142nd Law Commission Report on Concessional Treatment for Offenders who on their own initiative Choose to Plead Guilty without Bargaining, 1991 ; Chapter III- Concept of Plea Bargaining. II. www.expertlaw.com/library/criminal/plea_bargains.html III. www.legalservices.com/articles/plea_bar.html IV. www.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/plea-bargaining V. www.rajyasabha.nic.in/book2/reports/ 11