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Explained: Concept Of Plea Bargaining Under CrPc (265A-265L)

Plea bargaining in simple terms can be defined as the acceptance of the crime done by the accused so that his tenure or term of punishment will be reduced. for example, letís say Mr. x committed a crime and now to get lesser punishment he agrees that the offence was committed by him so in such cases his term of sentence can be reduced. This rule is basically followed in the united states irrespective of the type of offence but in our country this concept is not followed but it is still mentioned in the CRPC also it is initiated only at the stage of cognizance taken by the magistrate.

Section 265 (A)

This section basically says that a person can go for plea bargaining if he has committed an offence which is not punishable with life imprisonment or imprisonment of more than seven years or with death also this concept will be applied only if the magistrate has taken the cognizance or if the final report is submitted by the police that a person is charged with some offences which is not punishable with life imprisonment, imprisonment for seven years or with death.

for example, if Mr. Shyam killed Mr. Arun so in such case can he go for plea bargaining?
No because the crime committed by Mr. Shyam is of serious nature and also the above-mentioned section says that it will not include the offence which is punishable with death or life imprisonment or imprisonment for more than seven years.

Q. Does the above-mentioned section have any exceptions?
Yes, this section also says that the concept of plea bargaining will not be applied if the crime is committed against the woman or a child who is below the age of fourteen years or if there is commission of socio-economic offences which generally includes corruption, not paying taxes etc.

Q. What if a crime is committed by a woman?
If a crime is committed by a woman, then in such cases, she can go for plea bargaining but if a woman commits a crime against another woman, then in such cases, she cannot go for plea bargaining.

Section 265 (B)

This section talks about the person who can give the application for plea bargaining so it states that a person who is accused of an offence is allowed to file an application for plea bargaining. It is to be noted that this application should be filed before a trial as it is a pretrial procedure so the accused will file it through his lawyer before the commencement of the trial. Here the accused will also provide an affidavit with the application which he has filed for plea bargaining to the magistrate and the magistrate has to satisfy himself that the act of filing an application along with the affidavit is not done under compulsion rather it should be done voluntarily but if the magistrate finds that the accused was previously convicted for the same offence by some of the lower courts then in such cases the magistrate will reject the application of the accused. After such submission of application by the accused the court will ask the complainant and the accused to be present on a date which will be decided by the court. after the accused and the complainant appear before the court of law on the day as asked by the court then the court investigates the accused in camera either in the personal chamber of the magistrate or of the judge only for the reason to check that whether the filing of application was done voluntarily or under compulsion by the accused so if the judge or the magistrate is satisfied that the filing of application for plea bargaining by the accused was done voluntarily then in such case the court will give time to the accused and the complainant to work on a certain negotiations or agreements like compensation which will be given to the victim by the accused after which next date of appearance will be decided by the court for the next hearing of the case .

Q. What if the court finds that the filing of application by the accused was done involuntarily after such camera proceedings?
If the court finds that the filing of application for plea bargaining by the accused was not done voluntarily then in such cases the court will proceed with the normal trial procedure.

Q. What will happen in a case where the accused who filed an application is a habitual offender?
If the accused is a habitual offender, then in such case court will reject his application.

Section 265 (C)

This section deals with the instructions of negotiations or the agreements between the accused and the victim so here it says that if the case was initiated upon the final report which was given by the police authorities then in such cases the court will issue notice to the police officer who submitted the report , accused and the victim to participate in a meeting to work on such negotiations or agreements only to ensure that the negotiation was done by the accused voluntarily and not under any compulsion but if the case was initiated upon the complaint upon which the magistrate took the cognizance then in such cases the court will issue notice to the victim and the accused to participate in a meeting where they will work on some negotiations regarding the case like deciding some of the amount which will be given to the victim or any other expenses etc. also it is mandatory for the court to ensure that the negotiation was done voluntarily by the accused and the victim but if a court founds that the negotiation was done involuntarily then in such cases also the court will proceed with the normal trial procedure.

Section 265 (D)

As we saw in section 265 C that the court issues notice to work on such negotiations so after that this section deals with the submission of such negotiation report to the court so if both the parties i.e., accused and the victim if they both have worked on such negotiation or if they have decided about the compensation that will be given to the victim or any other expense then in such case the report of the negotiation will be submitted before the court which will be signed by the magistrate and by all those persons who participated in such meeting of negotiations but if no such negotiation has been worked out between the accused and the victim then in such cases the court will proceed with the normal trial procedures.

Section 265 (E)

If the parties have already decided about the amount or any other expense which will be given to the victim and the report is submitted to the court then in such cases the court will discard the case by giving the victim the amount which was decided by both the parties during the time of such negotiations between the accused and the victim and also the court will hear the parties in case of punishment which will be given to the accused by taking certain things on consideration such as good conduct, time served in prison which prescribing the quantum of punishment.

The court may release the accused by proper warning or give him lesser punishment or give him an opportunity to reform. if a court finds that minimum punishment has been provided under law for such offence committed by the accused then in such cases the court may reduce the sentence of the accused to half of such minimum punishment but if there is no such minimum punishment provided then in such case one fourth of the punishment will be given to the accused.

For example, if Mr. Ranjan was accused of an offence for which the minimum punishment was say 4 years so in such cases the court can reduce the offence to 2 years i.e.: half of such minimum punishment.

Section (265 F-265 L)

In the last few section, it says that the judgement of the court should be given in an open court which will be also signed by the presiding officer of the court and after the judgment given by such court it will not be appealed further as that particular judgement will be the final judgement.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Rakchit Mishra
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Authentication No: MA114207801600-22-0522

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