Ensuring a prompt legal process is a fundamental necessity of India's Criminal Justice framework, as any postponement can result in a denial of fairness. The entitlement to a rapid trial is embedded in Part III of the Constitution and is extended to everyone. Obstacles like inadequate courtroom capacity, the cumbersome litigation procedure, and the substantial expenses of legal actions have facilitated the emergence of alternative conflict resolution (ACR) techniques.
The primary goal of introducing ACR methods in criminal instances is to provide an economical and easily accessible resolution, particularly for individuals accused of minor wrongdoings, all while safeguarding them from the protracted postponements associated with extensive trials. Consequently, the focus on ACR within India's Criminal Justice System endeavors to present a comprehensive grasp of the notion of plea bargaining and its evaluation.
In India, the Code of Criminal Procedure does include stipulations enabling an accused individual to acknowledge ‘guilt’ rather than demanding a full-scale trial, though this differs from plea negotiation. The notion of Plea Bargaining, obtained from the US Constitution, has proven to be a very effective plan in evading prolonged and intricate legal proceedings. It involves preliminary discussions between the accused and the prosecutor, covering matters related to accusations and potential penalties.
Hence, this paper explores the constitutional components of expediting trials, the assimilation of ACR within India's Criminal Justice System, India's perspective on Plea Bargaining, the merits and demerits of the Plea-Bargaining system in India, and a comparative evaluation of Plea Bargaining between the United States and India.