Criminal

How to establish common intention?

Common intention

 

Sec 34 of Indian Penal Code

 

Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention – When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

In Ramaswami Avyangar v. State of T.N. [1976 (3) SCC 779], in order to establish common intention it was observed as follows :­

“12…. The acts committed by different confederates in the criminal action may be different but all must in one way or the other participate and engage in the criminal enterprise, for instance, one may only stand guard to prevent any person coming to the relief of the victim, or may otherwise facilitate the execution of the common design. Such a person also commits an “act” as much as his coparticipants actually committing the planned crime. In the case of an offence involving physical violence, however, it is essential for the application of Section 34 that the person who instigates or aids the commission of the crime must be physically present at the actual commission of the crime for the purpose of facilitating or promoting the offence, the commission of which is the aim of the joint criminal venture. Such presence of those who in one way or the other facilitate the execution of the common design, is itself tantamount to actual participation in the ‘criminal act’. The essence of Section 34 is simultaneous consensus of the minds of persons participating in the criminal action to bring about a particular result. Such consensus can be developed at the spot and thereby intended by all of them….”

 In Nandu Rastogi v. State of Bihar [JT 2002 (7) SC 551], with regard to the inference for common intention this Court observed as follows :­

“17…. They came together, and while two of them stood guard and prevented the prosecution witnesses from intervening, three of them took the deceased inside and one of them shot him dead. Thereafter they fled together. To attract Section 34 IPC it is not necessary that each one of the accused must assault the deceased. It is enough if it is shown that they shared a common intention to commit the offence and in furtherance thereof each one played his assigned role by doing separate acts, similar or diverse….”

 In Surender Chauhan v. State of Madhya Pradesh [JT 2000 (3) SC 507], it was noticed that absence of a positive act of assault was not a necessary ingredient to establish common intention observing :­

“11. Under Section 34 a person must be physically present at the actual commission of the crime for the purpose of facilitating or promoting the offence, the commission of which is the aim of the joint criminal venture. Such presence of those who in one way or the other facilitate the execution of the common design is itself tantamount to actual participation in the criminal act. The essence of Section 34 is simultaneous consensus of the minds of persons participating in the criminal action to bring about a particular result. Such consensus can be developed at the spot and thereby intended by all of them….”

A similar view was taken in Nand Kishore v. State of Madhya Pradesh [JT 2011 (7) SC 203].


Ref: Subed Ali and Others v. The State of Assam JT 2020 (9) SC

Categories: Criminal

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