On receipt of an application for Plea Bargaining, the Metropolitan
Magistrate will scrutinize it and if it is in order, he or she will send to
Plea Bargaining Magistrate through office of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at
Hazari Court complex and office of ACMM at Karkardooma Court Complex. The
application will be taken up for consideration by the Plea Bargain Magistrate
as soon as possible and in any event on the next working day.
Where does the Plea Bargain Magistrate hold a sitting?
The Plea Bargain Magistrate will initially be available in Room No.
238, (2nd Floor), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi on all working days
between 10.00 pm to 5.00 pm and in Room No-67 Block -B, fourth floor at
Karkardooma Court Complex between 2.00pm to 5.00pm
What will the Plea Bargain Magistrate do on receipt of such
The Plea Bargain Magistrate will consider the application and issue
notice to the Investigating Officer in the case, the Public Prosecutor, the
victim of the offence (if any) and the complainant. Whenever necessary, if it
is found that the applicant/accused is not represented by a lawyer, he will be
provided the services of a free legal aid lawyer.
After all the concerned parties receive the notice, what is
the first step to be
Preferably, before meeting the Plea Bargain Magistrate at time
fixed in response to the notice, all the parties concerned in the Plea Bargain
should try to arrive at a settlement in consultation with the Public
Prosecutor. If it is not possible to reach a settlement in advance, the Plea
Bargain Magistrate will assist the parties in arriving at an amicable
What is the next step required to be taken?
If an amicable
settlement is not arrived at, the Plea Bargain Magistrate will duly inform the
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate / ACMM concerned. Failed proceeding are kept in
the Plea Bargaining centre. However, if a Plea Bargain is being arrived at :
The Plea Bargain Magistrate will have an in
camera or Private discussion with the
applicant in the presence of his lawyer to
Whether the Plea Bargain is voluntary,
Whether the Plea Bargain is acceptable to the
Whether the applicant has understood the
meaning and effect of the Plea Bargain.
If the Plea Bargain Magistrate is satisfied that the Plea Bargain
meets all the legal requirements, he will accept it and pass an order
disposing of the case in terms of the settlement and inform the Chief
Metropolitan Magistrate / ACMM concerned accordingly.
All the parties to the Plea Bargain are
required to sign the order recording the settlement.
Are the Plea Bargain proceedings confidential?
Yes, the entire Plea Bargain proceedings are absolutely
confidential. If the Plea Bargain fails, then no party can use anything said
in the Plea Bargain proceedings in the pending criminal case. Even the trial
Judge will not ask any question about the Plea Bargain proceedings.
How long does it take to dispose of a Plea Bargain
The Plea Bargain Magistrate will make every effort to dispose of a
Plea Bargain application as soon as all the parties appear before him. In any
event, if no settlement is reached within sixty (60) days, the application
will be returned to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate ACMM Concerned and
thereafter the criminal case will proceed quickly.
Can Plea Bargain application be withdrawn?
Yes, a Plea
Bargain application can be withdrawn at any time before all the parties to the
Plea Bargain sign the settlement.
Can an accused make more than one application for a Plea
Yes, an accused can make more than one application for Plea
Bargain. The applicant must, however, realize that greater the delay in making
an application for Plea Bargain, it will be more difficult to arrive at an
amicable settlement. It is, therefore, advisable to accept the bargain at the
time of making the first Plea Bargain application.
What is the sentence that will be awarded on the acceptance
of Plea Bargain application?
This will depend on the nature of the offence and no definite
answer can be given. But the options are :
• being put on
probation under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958,
• a fine or a
• period of
custody already undergone,
• custody upto a maximum of one-fourth (1/4) or one-half (1/2) the
period of imprisonment provided by law, as the case may be.
will be entitled to set off the period of detention undergone against the sentence of imprisonment.