For a long time, the first and foremost work of the state is to maintain law and order in society. In the same reference, the other work is; to ensure that justice prevails. This function is never changing even in critical conditions. For the smooth functioning of the state, the citizens also contribute in the manner by paying taxes. But in the effective functioning of the justice system, the backlog is that; there are many pending cases that need to be adjudicated. In view of the same, the legislature has opened its hand and introduces section 265 A -265 L of the code of criminal procedure. This part talks about the plea bargaining. The amendment act of 2005 introduces the concept of plea bargaining,  to solve the problem of pending cases in the Indian courts. This will be most beneficial for contribution in reforming the criminal justice system.


The concept gets its origin from the United States and it traces its evolution from the American criminal justice system.

We can define it pre-trial negotiation between the parties. In this, the defendant and prosecution play a major role in which the accused person plea his guilt where the prosecution exchanges the same for concession. The main thing in this is negotiation. The negotiation takes place by way of reducing the sentence or the seriousness of the charge On the person.

The plea bargain is a contractual agreement between the parties concerning the disposition of a criminal charge. The enforceability of this agreement depends on the judge’s approval.

The plea bargaining is envisaged in section 265 a to 265 l. It allows the bargains for the cases like :

  • Where the punishment is more than 7 years of imprisonment.
  • Where not affects the socio-economic condition of the country.
  • When the offence is not against a woman or child under 14 years of age.

The law commission 154th report recommends the introduction of plea bargaining in our Indian criminal justice system.


The provisions envisage are as under :

section 256 A talks about the application of this chapter in which it provides that the person who has the charges in him of offences other than punishable with death or life or of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years can take the plea of the bargain under this.

256 b: provides that an accused can file an application to that effect in which all the details need to be there and the court for its scrutiny will issue a notice to the public prosecutor.

Section 256 c: the section lays down the procedure that needs to be followed by the court in disposition.

256 d: under this preparation of the report of the mutually satisfactory disposition is given. If the disposition works out that report will be prepared in the court and not then the court will record the submissions.

265 e: provides for the procedure of the disposal of the case a report that is signed by the presiding officer will be given to the court and parties in the meeting and after that, the court can release the person on probation or can pass a less sentence.

Then afterward the court pronounces the judgment and finalizes the judgment as no appeal against the same lies only a special leave petition can be instituted as per section 265 G and H.

The further section from 265 H to 265 L talks about the powers of the court under this situation. It also envisages that section 428 of crpc is applicable for set off the detention period. It also provides for another saving clause under other provisions.


The concept can’t look like an entirely new concept . It is a known concept in an indirect way under Article 20( 3) of the constitution of India. Which talks about the prohibition against self-incrimination. But with the ongoing time the courts inculcates the same through interpretation which leads to introduction of sections under crpc with the amendment act.


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