Applicability of ADR mechanism in Criminal disputes
In India ,there are about 59, 867 cases pending in the Supreme Court and 44.75 lakh cases in various High Courts . And at the District Court and Subordinate Court levels , the number of pending cases are 3.14 Crores . The pendency of these many cases are because of low judges , strength and appointment , fillings of irrelevant cases , unnecessary PIL , misuse of process of law , lack of infrastructure and the number of appeals available in a case . The backlog of cases shows the true scenario of Indian Judical System since independence of India . The faith of people over judiciary to get the speedy trail is fading day by day . As the legal maxim "justice delayed is justice denied is well established in the present system of Indian Judiciary.
To combat with the problem of pendency and to reduce the burden of the court the mechanism of ADR was introduced.
There are basically four types of AdRs used in India
Constitutional provision for ADR mechanism
Under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution the rule of law is embodied which is the " Basic feature" of our constitution.
It means that no man is above and all are equal in eye of law.
Under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution no person shall be deprived of his life or his personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
Article 39A provides equal justice and free legal aid.
The advent of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 gave a statutory status to Lok Adalat pursuant to the constitutional mandate in Article 39 A of the constitution of India.
The Act direct Constitution of Legal Services Authorities to provide free and Competent Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society . It also directs organisation of Lok Adalats to serve that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
Permanent Lok Adalat
In 2002 , the parliament brought about certain amendments to the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to institutionalize the Lok Adalats by making them a permanent body to settle the disputes related to public utility services.
Lok Adalat have the competence to deal with a number of case like compoundable Civil , revenue and Criminal cases ; motor accident compensation claims case , banks unpaid loan cases , Damages cases and cases which are not subjudice etc.
Criminal Disputes & ADR Mechanism
Plea bargaining refers to pre trail negotiation and was brought about by way of the Criminal law (Amendment ) Act , 2005 which introduced Chapter XXI A in the code of criminal procedure , 1973.Section 265A to 265L duals with this . The concept has been borrowed from the constitution of USA.
There are three types of plea bargaining
Charge bargaining - It is pleaded by the defendant in the less serious crime than the one originally imposed.
Count bargaining - It is used when the defendant pleads guilty to a fewer number of the charges.
Sentence bargaining - It is used when the defendant pleads guilty knowing that what sentence will be given.
According to Section 265A - the plea bargaining should be applicable to an accused who has not committed an offence for which the law provides punishment of death or life imprisonment or imprisonment for more than seven years.
Section 265C - This section provides the guidelines for mutual satisfaction disposition.
- If a case instituted on a police report :- The court shall issue notice to Public Prosecutor , police officer who has Investigated the case the accused and the victim to participate in working out a satisfactory disposition of the case. The court shall ensure the process is completed voluntarily by the parties . Pleader of the accused may also participate in the process if the same is desired by the accused.
- In a case instituted other than on a police report :- The court shall issue notice to the accused and victims to participate in working out a satisfactory disposition of the case. The court shall ensure the process is completed voluntarily by the parties . Pleader of the accused may also participate in the process if the same is desired by the court.
Section 265 D - If no such disposition was worked out , the court shall record such observation and proved further in accordance with the provision of Crpc from the stages application under sub section (1) of section 265 B has been filed in such case.
Section 265E :- when a satisfactory disposition of the case has been worked out the court shall award compensation to the victim in accordance with the disposition and hear the parties on quantum of punishment and releasing of the accused on probation of good conduct or after admonition under section 360 of the code.
So plea bargaining helps in the speedy disposal of cases and hence seen as a part of broad conception of Alternative Dispute Resolution . It provides benefits to the defendants like saving money , avoiding publicity, avoiding hassles and also resolving the matter quickly.