Plea Bargaining's Resounding Defeat? The Indian Experiment with Plea Bargaining

25 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2017

Date Written: December 10, 2017

Abstract

Plea bargaining has been on the statute books in India since 2006, and yet, after over a decade since opening shop, it has managed to capture less than 0.5% of cases filed for offenses under the Indian Penal Code as per most recent government data. This paper explores the reasons why, arguing that the foremost cause for low rates of plea bargaining in India is that it is a 'poor fit' within the overall architecture of the Indian criminal process. In doing so, the paper juxtaposes the basic architecture of the Indian criminal justice system with the U.S. federal system, to show why plea bargaining has 'triumphed' in America. The paper concludes that the design flaws in the Indian plea bargaining model are fatal, and legislators and policymakers must turn elsewhere for answers to the pervasive problems of delays in case disposal and overcrowded prisons, policy objectives that plea bargaining was intended to achieve.

Keywords: plea bargaining, criminal procedure, comparative criminal procedure, criminal justice system, Indian law

Suggested Citation

Sekhri, Abhinav, Plea Bargaining's Resounding Defeat? The Indian Experiment with Plea Bargaining (December 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3085659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3085659

Abhinav Sekhri (Contact Author)

Delhi High Court ( email )

Delhi
India Gate
Delhi, 110003
India

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