Criminal Procedure Code 1973

List of the Offences affect socio-economic condition

Offences affect socio-economic condition in India for the purposes of sub-section (1) of section 265A of Cr.P.C

Central Government Notification by S.O. 1042(E), dated 11th July, 2006.

PLEA BARGAINING

The list of Acts affected under sub-section (1) of section 265A of Cr.P.C

(i) Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
(ii) The Commission of Sati Prevention Act, 1987.
(iii) The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
(iv) The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.
(v) The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
(vi) The Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods
(Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992.
(vii) Provisions of Fruit Products Order, 1955 (issued under the
Essential Services Commodities Act, 1955).
(viii) Provisions of Meat Food Products Orders, 1973) (issued under
the Essential Commodities Act, 1955).
(ix) Offences with respect to animals that find place in Schedule I and
Part II of the Schedule II as well as offences related to altering of
boundaries of protected areas under the Wildlife (Protection) Act,
1972.
(x) The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989.
(xi) Offences mentioned in the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955.
(xii) Offences listed in sections 23 to 28 of the Juvenile Justice (Care
and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
(xiii) The Army Act, 1950.
(xiv) The Air Force Act, 1950.
(xv) The Navy Act, 1957.
(xvi) Offences specified in sections 59 to 81 of the Delhi Metro
Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002.
(xvii) The Explosives Act, 1884.
(xviii) Offences specified in sections 11 to 18 of the Cable Television
Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
(xix) The Cinematograph Act, 1952.

Section 265A of Cr.P.C

Older Position on Plea Bargain was observed in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Chandrika JT 1999 (8) SC 481:

Concept of plea bargaining is not recognized and is against public policy under our criminal justice system. Section 320, Cr.P.C. provides for compounding of certain offences with the permission of the Court and certain others even without permission of the Court. Except the above, the concept of negotiated settlement in criminal cases is not permissible. This method of short circuiting the hearing and deciding the criminal appeals or cases involving serious offences requires no encouragement. Neither the State nor the public prosecutor nor even the Judge can bargain that evidence would not be led or appreciated in consideration of getting flee bite sentence by pleading guilty. It is settled law that on the basis of plea bargaining Court cannot dispose of criminal cases. The Court has to decide it on merits. If accused confesses his guilt, appropriate sentence is required to be imposed. Further, the approach of the Court in appeal or revisions should be to find out whether the accused is guilty or not on the basis of evidence on record. If he is guilty, appropriate sentence is required to be imposed or maintained. If the appellant or his counsel submits that he is not challenging the order of conviction, as there is sufficient evidence to connect the accused with the crime, then also the Court’s conscious must be satisfied before passing final order that the said concession is based on the evidence on record. In such cases, sentence commensurating with the crime committed by the accused is required to be imposed. Mere acceptance or admission of the guilt should not be a ground for reduction of sentence. Nor can the accused bargain with the Court that as he is pleading guilty sentence be reduced. In the instant case the Sessions Judge, Ballia by his judgement and order convicted the respondent under Section 304, IPC and sentenced him to under go eight years R.I. Aggrieved by the said order, respondent preferred an appeal before the High Court and at the time of hearing opted not to challenge the findings of conviction, recorded by the trial Court with a view to bargain on the question of sentence. High Court accepted the bargain and allowed the appeal by observing inter alia that as the incident had taken place long back and since the appellant had been in jail for sometime, both as under-trial prisoner and as a convict, it was desirable to substitute his remaining period of jail sentence as awarded by the trial Court and altered the sentence to period already undergone. Order passed by the High Court is illegal and erroneous as same has been based on concept of plea of bargaining.

In Thippeswamy Versus State of Karnataka AIR 1983 SC 747 :

It is obvious that by reason of plea-bargaining, the appellant pleaded guilty and did not avail of the opportunity to defend himself against the charge, which is a course he would certainly not have followed if he had known that he would not be let off with a mere sentence of fine but would be sentenced to imprisonment. It would be clearly violative of Article 21 of the Constitution to induce or lead an accused to plead guilty under a promise or assurance that he would be let off lightly and then in appeal or revision, to enhance the sentence. Of course when we say this, we do not for a moment wish to suggest that the court of appeal or revision should not interfere where a disproportionately low sentence is imposed on the accused as a result of plea-bargaining. But in such a case, it would not be reasonable, fair and just to act on the plea of guilty for the purpose of enhancing the sentence. The Court of appeal or revision should, in such a case, set aside the conviction and sentence of the accused and remand the case to the trial Court so that the accused can, if he so wishes, defend himself against the charge and if he is found guilty, proper sentence can be passed against him.

In Kasambhai Abdulrehmanbhai Sheikh Versus State of Gujarat and another AIR 1980 SC 854 : (1980) 2 SCR 1037

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954—Sections 7 and 16—plea bargaining

The conviction of the appellant was based solely on the plea of guilty entered by him and this confession of guilt was the result of plea bargaining between the prosecution, the defence and the learned Magistrate. It is obvious that such conviction based on the plea of guilty entered by the appellant as a result of plea bargaining cannot be sustained. It is to our mind contrary to public policy to allow a conviction to be recorded against an accused by inducing him to confess to a plea of guilty on an allurement being held out to him that if enters a plea of guilty, he will be let off very lightly. Such a procedure would be clearly unreasonable, unfair and unjust and would be violative of the new activist dimension of Article 21 of the Constitution.

It would have the effect of polluting the pure fount of justice, because it might induce an innocent accused to plead guilty to suffer a light and inconsequential punishment rather than go through a long and arduous criminal trial which, having regard to our cumbrous and unsatisfactory system of administration of justice, is not only long drawn out and ruinous in terms of time and money, but also uncertain and unpredictable in its result and the Judge also might be likely to be deflected from the path of duty to do justice and he might either convict an innocent accused by accepting the plea of guilty or let off a guilty accused with a light sentence, thus, subverting the process of law and frustrating the social objective and purpose of the anti adulteration statute. This practice would also tend to encourage corruption and collusion and as a direct consequence, contribute to the lowering of the standard of justice. There is no doubt in our mind that the conviction of an accused based on a plea of guilty entered by him as a result of plea bargaining with the prosecution and the Magistrate must be held to be unconstitutional and illegal. The High Court should have therefore, set aside the conviction of the appellant and sent the case back to the learned Magistrate for trial in accordance with law, ignoring the plea of guilty entered by the appellant. The High Court was clearly in error in not doing so.