Supreme Court’s Recommendations for Criminal Case Disposal: A Comprehensive Overview


Welcome to the official blog of the Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates, where we are dedicated to providing litigation support services for matters related to Plea Bargaining. In today’s blog post, we aim to shed light on the prevailing issues surrounding Plea Bargaining, the legal framework for their protection, and the steps we can take as a society to combat these acts.

Plea bargaining is a legal process in which the accused, facing criminal charges, negotiates with the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions. This negotiation typically involves the accused agreeing to admit guilt to a lesser charge or accepting a reduced sentence. In a significant development, the Supreme Court, through a suo motu writ petition, has laid out constructive suggestions for the efficient disposal of criminal cases. Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka highlighted the need for effective implementation of provisions related to plea bargaining, compounding of offenses, and the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958.

Key Proposals:

  1. Pilot Cases Selection:
  • Specific courts, including Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Chief Judicial Magistrate (‘CJM’), or Additional CJM, and the Court of Sessions in each district, are proposed as pilot cases.
    • These courts will identify cases pending at pre-trial or evidence stages with offenses carrying a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
  • Cases not falling under Section 265-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, will be considered.
    • Exclusions include offenses against women or children less than 14 years.
  • Notification and Legal Aid:
  • Cases meeting the criteria will be posted on a working Saturday or a suitable day, with notice to the concerned parties.
    • Accused/complainants will be informed of options like Plea Bargaining, Probation of Offenders Act, or Compounding.
    • Legal aid, including District Legal Services Authority details, will be provided.
  • Court Procedure:
  • Parties will be encouraged to explore Plea Bargaining or Compounding.
    • Information on Probation of Offenders Act benefits will be conveyed.
    • Accused/complainants will be given time to consider options.
  • Under Trial Review Committees:
  • Urgent steps are urged for under-trial cases covered by the judgment in the case of Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons, In re.
    • District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) should file bail applications within 30 days, with Trial Courts aiming to dispose of them within 3 weeks.
  • Convicts Undergoing Fixed Terms:
  • A mechanism is proposed for convicts sentenced to 10 years or less with no criminal antecedents.
    • High Courts and Legal Services Authorities will create lists for counseling to consider reducing sentences or release on probation.
  • Remission of Sentence:
  • State Governments can consider commuting sentences for convicts serving up to 10 years and having completed half the term.
    • Exceptions will be made for heinous crimes, and conditions of good conduct will apply.


The Supreme Court has directed the implementation of these suggestions, emphasizing the need for State Governments and Legal Services Authorities to work collaboratively. A 4-month timeline is set for the overall process, and a monitoring system involving Nodal Officers is established to ensure efficacy.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services for matters related to the  Criminal Procedure Code 1973.

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