Two persons arrested for helping Sher Singh Rana, the prime accused in Phoolan Devi murder case, to escape from high-security Tihar Jail have secured a lighter jail term of less than four years from a court in New Delhi after they accepted their guilt.
Sandeep Thakur and Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, resident of Roorkee in Uttarakhand, entered into plea bargaining, which provides an opportunity to an undertrial to admit guilt in the court and walk away with lesser quantum of sentence or no punishment.
"That the prosecution has no objection in case both the accused are held guilty and are sentenced to imprisonment of three years and nine months, I am prima-facie satisfied that the charges against both the said accused are well-founded," Metropolitan Magistrate Vidya Prakash said.
The concept of 'plea bargaining' was inserted in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) through an amendment in 2005 under which appeal cannot be filed in superior courts against a mutually arrived formula between the accused and the prosecution for reducing the burden of cases.
Both, along with Rana and three others, were charged for entering into conspiracy to jail break and harbouring Rana and resisting the police to arrest them.
Further, Thakur and Aggarwal were charge with forgery and cheating the jail authorities by posing as constable and advocate.
Their counsel Ashutosh Bhardwaj, had moved an application in the court for plea bargaining stating that the accused had remained in custody for more than three years in the case.