SECTION 34 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention -

Last Updated: 01 Dec, 2023
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


Description of IPC Section 34

According to section 34 of Indian penal code, 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.

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Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code

A person is liable only for those acts that he/she has committed and not for those acts that are committed by someone else. According to the general principles of criminal liability, the main responsibility is of the individual or person who commits the offence and only such person can be held guilty and be punished for the committed crime.

However, the Indian Penal Code consists of many provisions that include the doctrine of “common purpose” found in criminal law jurisprudences across countries. This doctrine enables criminal responsibility to be attached upon an individual for a crime that has been committed by another individual on the basis that such crime was committed as a part of a common design which was agreed upon by the accused and other individual(s). Section 34 of the IPC is one such Section.

Section 34 of the IPC 1860 states that 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. This section, laying down “joint liability” of an act is an exception to the fundamental principal of criminal jurisprudence. The essence of joint liability lies in the presence of common intention in all the persons involved which leads to the doing of the criminal act in furtherance of this common intention.

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What are the Essentials of Section 34 IPC?

Like every crime, Section 34 also has some essentials that need to be fulfilled in order to hold a person liable for joint liability. These are as follows:

1. A criminal act done by several persons:

The most important ingredient is that a criminal act must be done, that too by several persons. Committing of an act or omitting of an act of criminal nature must be done. The acts committed by different confederates in criminal action may be different, however, all must in one way or the other participate or engage in the criminal enterprise. The essence of S. 34 is simultaneous consensus of the minds of persons participating in the criminal action to bring about a particular or intended result.

2. The common intention of all persons to commit the criminal act:

As stated above, the essence of joint liability under S. 34 of IPC lies in the existence of a common intention to do a criminal act in furtherance of the common objective of all members of that group. The term “common intention” implies a prior or previous concert or a prior meeting of minds and also the participation of all members of that group. The acts done by different persons of that group may differ in degree and character, but these acts must be actuated by the same common intention between all persons.

3. Participation of all persons involved, in the commission of the offence (in furtherance of that common intention):

In order to fix joint liability, a the criminal act of the entire group is a condition precedent. It is essential that the court finds that in furtherance of the common intention, some criminal act has been done with the group’s participation. The person who instigates or aids in the commission of the crime should physically do an act for the purpose of facilitating the commission of the actual (planned) crime.

An example for a crime under S. 34 IPC could be as follows:

“A, B and C, all persons decide to rob a bank but without hurting any individual or person at the bank. However, while robbing the bank, B and C were collecting cash, while, A decided to be at the door keeping a check for the police. In this meantime, the guard from another gate came running and out of fear, A stabbed the security guard multiple times which led to the death of the security guard. After this, B and C ran towards the security guard, took our the knife from the body of the security guard to hide evidence and then all 3 A, B and C, ran away from the bank. Although, B and C did not actively kill the security guard, but all three A, B and C will be liable for robbing the bank and for killing the security guard”

In this example, all the essentials of Section 34 are covered and thus, A, B and C will be jointly liable for all acts committed in furtherance of common intention.

One of the earliest cases where the court had convicted another person for the act of another person in furtherance of common intention is that of Barendra Kumar Ghosh vs King Emperor, where two persons demanded money from the postmaster where he was counting the money, and when they fired from the pistol at the postmaster, the postmaster died on the spot. All of the accused ran away without taking money. In this case, Barendra Kumar stated that he did not fire the pistol and was just standing as a guard, but the Courts rejected his plea and held him guilty and convicted him for murder under section 302 with section 34 of Indian Penal Code.

Participation in Criminal Act and Proving Common Intention under Section 34

As stated above, the participation in a criminal act of a group is a pre-condition for fixing joint liability. There must be some overt act done in furtherance of the common intention in order to commit an offence under S. 34 and be liable under it. It is required by law to be present at the “crime scene” or the spot of crime and also participate in the commission of the offence. It could even be sufficient if he is present somewhere nearby.

The essence of the liability is in the common intention and the participation in the commission of the offence.

The test for conviction under S. 34 IPC is evidence which can either be direct or it can be inferred that such accused and others have committed the offence in pursuance of common intention. Section 34 applies even when no injury has been caused by one accused himself. Thus, if it is proved that one of the accused’s was standing and witnessing a murder take place when they decided to commit the crime, he/she will be held liable under S.34 of the Indian Penal Code.

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What is the Nature of Offence under Section 34 under the IPC?

Section 34 is only a general definition of joint liability. It does not create any substantial or proper crime. No particular offence has been stated therein. Two or more people can be jointly liable for an offence stated in IPC if a crime has been committed by them in furtherance of common intention. Thus, two or more people can be held liable for any crime stated under Section 34 IPC if the essentials of that section are fulfilled. Thus, whether the offence is cognizable, non-cognizable, bailable or non-bailable, depends upon the nature of the offence committed and the nature mentioned in the Sections under which the accused is charged.

Why is there a Need for Section 34IPC?

Section 34 lays down a very important provision for the Indian Criminal Law. It lays down a general provision for application in situations where it is difficult to prove the exact extent of liability and roles of the parties/persons involved in a joint criminal act. Section 34 helps in determining liability for individuals where it is tough to determine individual liability for acts done in furtherance of common intention of all those involved.

Punishment under Section 34 of the IPC

Since Section 34 only provides a general definition as to what constitutes joint liability, no proper punishment has been stated for criminal acts done jointly by 2 or more than 2 persons (in pursuance of common intention). This particular Section is only a rule of evidence per se. It does not create any substantial offence. Section 34 on its own does not create any explicit or distinct offence and lays down only a principle of liability stating that if two or more than two do something against the law, or something that is a crime under the Indian Penal Code, both (or all of) such persons will be held liable for that crime. Thus, the punishments for Section 34 will be in accordance with the punishments provided for the the crime committed as per the Indian Penal Code.

Section 34 of the IPC is a principle of constructive liability and the essence of the liability is the existence of common intention in the minds of the accused. Since Section 34 in itself cannot be an offence, thus, each time a criminal act is done by two or more persons, thus, both the Sections i.e. setion provided for the criminal offence and section provided for joint liability (Section 34) will be applied.

For example, if an offence of murder has been committed in furtherance of common intention, then, both the persons involved will be held liable under Section 302 of IPC along with Section 34 of IPC.

Since no offence is prescribed under Section 34 of the IPC, this Section is always read with other substantive Sections of the IPC.

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Other Laws relating to Joint Liability under Indian Penal Code

Some other Sections under the Indian Penal Code in which the concept of joint liability (apart from Section 34) is discussed in IPC are Section 120A, 120B and 149. These Section have been stated below:

1. Section 120A IPC: Definition of criminal conspiracy.—When two or more per­sons agree to do, or cause to be done,—

(1) an illegal act, or

(2) an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agree­ment is designated a criminal conspiracy: Provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof. Explanation.—It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement, or is merely incidental to that object.]

2. Section 120B IPC: Punishment of criminal conspiracy.—

(1) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, 2[imprisonment for life] or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.

(2) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.]

3. Section 149 IPC: Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object.—

If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.

Difference between Section 34 and 149 of IPC

  1. Creation of a specific offence: Section 34 provides for a joint criminal liability but does not create any specific offence. Section 149, however, creates a specific offence of being a member of an unlawful assembly, which is punishable under Section 143.

  2. Definition: ‘Common intention’ under Section 34 is not defined anywhere in the Code while ‘common object’ is an essential ingredient of an unlawful assembly defined under Section 141.

  3. Difference between common intention and common object: A prior meeting of the minds of persons involved is essential to common intention. It is not essential for a prior meeting of minds to be present in a common object.

  4. No. of persons involved: For Section 34 to be applicable, at least 2 persons must be involved. Whereas for invoking Section 149, a minimum of 5 persons is required.

  5. Participation: ‘Active participation' is essential for Section 34 to be applicable while the same is not necessary for Section 149.

What to do if Charged in a Case under Section 34 IPC?

In India, being charged for any crime is a critical matter to deal with. A criminal case is not only hard for the accused, but also for the victim. A person charged for a crime in India can face severe penalties if convicted.

A person charged with a crime can face severe penalties if convicted. On the other hand, it is similarly difficult for the petitioner to prove the charges levied by him/ her. This is why it is important for both the petitioner and the defendant to thoroughly prepare for the case. A person involved in such a case must know all his/her rights before and after arrest. For this purpose, it is a must that both parties take the help of their lawyers.

A timeline of events should also be prepared and taken down in writing so that it is easier to brief the lawyer about the case. This will also help the lawyer to formulate a strategy to successfully conduct the trials and convince the court to adjudge in your favour.

The lawyer will be able to guide you on the available defences, please and bargains likely to be offered and the expectant result of the trial, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case.

Further, it is important to have a fair understanding of the law involved in a criminal case. One must sit with his/her lawyer and understand the procedure as well as the law governing the case. It is also critical to perform your own research and understand the risks involved and how you can overcome the same.

What to do if you are Falsely Charged for a Criminal Case under Section 34 IPC?

Very often, people are falsely charged under Section 34 cases. In such scenarios, it is important to build your case in a way so as to prove your innocence in the Court by presenting valuable evidence. The accused must talk to his/her lawyer and explain the entire scenario to him/her without even minor alterations as such changes can have a big impact on the case. You should discuss the case thoroughly with the lawyer, even multiple times if you believe that you were not able to make your lawyer understand some of the technicalities involved in the case earlier. You must also do your own research about the case and prepare yourself accordingly for the trials with the help of your lawyer. You should follow your lawyer’s instructions properly and take advice for things even as minor as your appearance, cross examinations etc. in the Court.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

What are your Rights if Arrested for a crime in India?

It is also important that one is aware of his/her rights if he/she is arrested. These rights are guaranteed by the Constitution of India and even the Code of Criminal Procedure.

  1. Right to be informed of grounds of arrest: Section 50(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) and Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India enforce this right.

  2. Right to inform the relatives/ friends upon arrest: Police officer making arrest has to immediately give the information regarding such arrest and the place where the arrested person is being held to any of his/her friends, relatives or such other persons as may be disclosed or nominated by the arrested person, as per Section 50A of Cr.P.C.

  3. Right to be informed of right to bail: As per Section 50(2) of Cr.P.C., the arrested person also has a right to be released on bail, when arrested without warrant for an offence other than a non-cognizable offence.

  4. Right to be produced before a magistrate without delay: It is illegal to keep a person in detention for more than 24 hours without the orders of the Magistrate as per Section 56 of Cr.P.C. and Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India. Right of not being detained for more than twenty-four hours is also covered in Section 76 of Cr.P.C.

  5. Right to consult a legal practitioner: This right begins from the moment the arrest is made. It is required that the arrested person should contact his lawyer without any delay. This right is also covered under Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India, along with Section 41D of CrPC, and Section 303 of CrPC.

  6. Right against Manhandling and Handcuffing: It is illegal to manhandle a person at the time of arrest.

  7. Rights of women when arrested: In case of a women offender only a female police can search another female. The search should be carried out in a decent manner. A male police officer cannot search a female offender. He can however search a woman’s house.

  8. Right to medical examination: There exists a right to be examined by a medical practitioner as per the situation.

  9. Right to legal aid and fair trial. Article 39-A states that the government in an effort to secure justice should endeavour to provide free legal aid to people in need.

  10. Right to remain silent: This has been ensured in CrPC and even the Indian Evidence Act.

  11. Right to receive receipt for personal goods: If your personal items are kept by the police, you have a right to receive a receipt for the same so that you can take them later when you are released on bail or acquitted.

  12. Attorney-client Privilege: it is important to be aware of the Attorney-client privilege. This means the statements that are made in confidence to the lawyer/advocate are protected. The attorneys are restricted to share this confidential information that the client shares with him/her. Therefore, being honest and open to your attorney’s questions is the best route of mounting a sound legal defense.

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Stages of Crime as per Indian Criminal Law

In Indian criminal law, 4 stages of crime are recognised. These should be present in any act to be considered a crime. The 4 stages are:

Stage 1: Intention/motive of the Individual:

The first stage i.e. the mental stage is an intention to commit a crime. Can be defined as the willingness of an individual to commit/do an act. However, mere intention to commit a crime is not a crime. Physical act is an important aspect in furtherance of the motive to commit the crime. The guilty mind or evil intent should be visible with a physical act.

Stage 2: Preparation for a crime:

The stage of preparation involves the arrangements made by an individual to execute a crime. However, even at this stage, no offence has been committed yet.

Even though mere preparation for any purpose is not a crime, still, certain actions can be prosecuted at this stage under the Indian Penal Code. For example- Preparation for waging a war against the State and preparing to commit dacoity are punishable even at this second stage.

Stage 3: Attempt to commit a crime:

The attempt of a crime occurs when preparation for it is done. The attempt is now a direct action in order to commit an offence.

Many sections of the Indian Penal Code make attempts to commit crimes, punishable offences.

Stage 4: Completion of the crime:

In order to make it a complete offence, the intended crime should be completed. The individual will be guilty of committing the crime after it has been completed.

What is the Trial / Court Procedure for a Section 34 IPC Case?

The beginning of a trial court procedure for a criminal case depends upon whether it is cognizable or non-cognizable and that depends on the crime that has been committed. Since Section 34 is a general provision, without any substantive offence, the trial or a criminal court procedure would depend upon the other Sections of the IPC that the accused has been charged under. However, generally, an FIR sets the motion of a trial. A general criminal trial procedure has been explained below:

  1. FIR (First Information Report) / Police complaint: the first step is a Police Complaint or a First Information Report. This is covered under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. An FIR puts the entire case into motion.

  2. Investigation and Report by Officer: The second step after the FIR, is investigation by the Investigation Officer. After the examination of the facts and circumstances, collection of evidence, and examination of persons and other necessary steps, the officer completes the investigation and prepares the investigation.

  3. Charge-sheet before Magistrate: The police then files the charge sheet before the magistrate. The charge-sheet consists of all the criminal charges against the accused.

  4. Arguments before Court and Framing of Charges: On the fixed date of hearing, the Magistrate hears the parties’ arguments on the charges that have been set and then finally frames the charges.

  5. Plea of guilty: Section 241 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 talks about the plea of guilty, after framing of the charges the accused is given an opportunity to plead guilty, and the responsibility lies with the judge to ensure that the plea of guilt was voluntarily made. The judge may upon its discretion convict the accused.

  6. Evidence by Prosecution: After the framing of the charges and the accused pleading ‘not guilty’, the evidence is first given by the Prosecution, upon whom the burden of proof initially (generally) lies. Both oral and documentary evidence can be produced. The magistrate has the power to issue summons to any person as a witness or order him to produce any document.

  7. Cross Examination of Witnesses by Accused/Counsel: Witnesses of the prosecution when produced before the court are cross examined by the accused or his/her counsel.

  8. Evidence by Accused if any, in defence: If the accused has any evidence, it is presented to the Courts at this stage. He/she is given this opportunity to make his/her case stronger. However, since the burden of proof is on the prosecution i.e. the alleged victim, the accused is not required to present evidence.

  9. Cross Examination of Witness by Prosecution: If witnesses are produced by the defence, they will be cross-examined by the Prosecution.

  10. Conclusion of Evidence: Once the court has been presented with evidence from both sides, the evidence is concluded by the Court/Judge.

  11. Oral / Final Arguments: The final stage, nearing the judgement is the stage of final arguments. Here, both parties take turns (first, the prosecution and then the defence) and make final oral arguments in front of the judge.

  12. Judgement by the Court: Based upon the facts and circumstances of that case, and upon the arguments made and evidence produced, the Court gives its final judgement. The Court gives its reasons in support of the acquittal or conviction of the accused and pronounces its final order.

  13. Acquittal or Conviction: If the accused is held guilty, he/she is convicted and if held ‘not-guilty’, the accused is acquitted in the final judgement.

  14. If Convicted, Hearing on Quantum of Sentence: If the accused is held guilty and convicted, a hearing will take place to decide the quantum or extent of the Sentence or jail time.

  15. Appeal to Higher Courts: An appeal to Higher Courts can be made if the scenario allows it. From Sessions court, an appeal can be made to the High Court and from High Court, to the Supreme Court.

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Can you get a Bail in a Section 34 IPC Case?

As has been stated above, Section 34 does not state one substantive offence and is a general provision for any offence (under IPC) committed in furtherance of common intention. Thus, whether you can get bail as a matter of right (bailable offence) or not, depends upon the offence for which the accused are charged under. For example, if the accused is charged for murder, then, the accused will not get bail as a matter of right, since Section 302 of IPC (i.e. murder) is not a bailable offence. Similarly, if the two or more persons are charged for an offence which is bailable, then the accused will easily get bail, depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

Can you Appeal in a Section 34 IPC Case?

An appeal is like a second chance to life. It is a procedure by which a judgment or an order of a lower court/subordinate court can be challenged before a higher court. An appeal can be filed by either party to the case before the lower court. The individual who is filing or continuing an appeal is called the appellant and the Court where the appeal has been filed is termed as the Appellate Court.

There is no inherent right given to a party to challenge the judgment/order of a Court before its higher or superior Court. An appeal can be filed only and only if it is specifically allowed by any law and has to be filed in the specified manner in the specified Courts. An appeal should also be filed in a time bound manner.

An appeal can be made in a higher court if there are good grounds for the same. An appeal from the district/magistrate court can be made to Sessions court. From the Sessions court, an appeal can be made to the High Court and from the High Court, to the Supreme Court.

Any person convicted on a trial held by Sessions judge or an Additional Sessions judge or on a trial held by any other court in which a sentence of imprisonment for more than 7 years has been passed against him or against any other person in the same trial can appeal to the High Court.

Thus, whether a party can appeal or not, depends upon the offence charged with, and the facts and circumstances of each case.

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Consequences of a Section 34 IPC case for the Accused

There are many negative effects and consequences faced by an individual accused of a crime and liable under Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. Some of them have been stated below.

1. Obscurity faced by all: In a case of Section 34, inferences are drawn by way of presumptions, which leads to making the case even more complicated and thus even more difficult for the adjudicators to judge simply. In such cases, the principle of joint liability is applied, in which every single accused is assumed to be liable for committing of the criminal act in furtherance of common intention which was accordingly shared with and all accomplices knew about it. Cases under Section 34 are complex in nature.

2. Dragging of the case: In cases pertaining to Section 34, where many accused are involved, the case tends to become complicated and it may take a long time for a clear picture of the actual events and the intention as well as the role played by each accused, which leads the case to be dragged for a long while, further adding to the suffering, harassment and mistreatment faced by the accused.

3. Accused may face hardships at work: Since such cases take a long while for completion and mostly require the presence of the accused, there are high chances of such accused being caught up with court proceedings, due to which the accused may face hardship at work.

4. Suffering faced by people associated with the accused: The siblings, siblings, children, relatives and other family members, as a consequence, may also face sufferings and other similar worries that the accused goes through.

5. Treatment of the accused as a criminal: There are high chances of the accused being treated like a criminal and hence not being treated properly. The accused may eventually lose self-respect, self-confidence, dignity and hope, while facing the proceedings initiated against him.

6. Negative effects on health: The physical as well as mental health of the accused may be effected negatively, which may lead to him/her having an unbalanced life.

7. Co-accused can be charged with the crime even if they did not actively take part in doing the overt act: When many are accused of a charge of conspiracy for committing an offence, there might be chances of a few of them not actively haven taken part in such conspiracy by doing an overt act, but they can still be punished as if the crime had been committed by them, given that it has been proved that such accused had conspired with those who did the overt act.

8. Individual liability can also be fixed when charge under Section 34 fails to be established: If in a certain situation, the charge under Section 34 of conspiring and committing an offence fails to be established, the Court can still go ahead with fixing individual liability after having analysed the individual acts performed by the accused, in accordance with the charges that are framed individually against them.

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How can a Lawyer Help in a Section 34 IPC Case?

A criminal lawyer having substantial experience in handling criminal cases can guide you through the court procedure and can help you prepare a solid defense for your case. He can prepare you for cross-examinations and guide you on how to answer the prosecution’s questions. A criminal lawyer is an expert in dealing with criminal cases and knows how to tackle a particular case owing to his years of experience. Having a good criminal lawyer by your side you can ensure a successful result in your case in the minimum time possible.

Testimonials - Real Section 34 IPC cases

  1. "My neighbor’s son was killed by a thief who was accompanied by another man. Even though only one of thieves had hit the son when he saw the thieves robbing the house, the Court still held that both the thieves are guilty of robbery and even murder. It was said by the Court that the murder had been done in furtherance of common intention of both thieves. My neighbors rightfully got justice, thanks to their lawyer who fought tirelessly on their behalf."

    - Ms. Baruni Mehra

  2. "My brother has been accused of culpable homicide and wrongfully terminating a pregnancy in furtherance of common intention with a quack doctor which is wrong and untrue. My brother took his wife to a hospital to terminate her pregnancy but the doctor was a quack and did not have the expertise to do so and my brother was not aware of this fact. While trying to terminate the pregnancy, the doctor did something wrong which led to my brother’s wife’s death. Now, a court case has been going on against this doctor and my brother, even though my brother is wrongly accused. We have a good lawyer on our side but the case seems to be weak and looks like it is going to pass a verdict against my brother. We are preparing evidence and trying to save our brother from the gruesome charges."

    - Mr. Kamal Daspan

  3. "My friend among 3 other persons attacked the deceased because she was having an illicit relationship with a man. One man inflicted a sharp cut on the backside of the shoulder, another hit gravely on her head and the other two did not inflict any serious injury. After hurting the girl, all the men hitting her ran away from the crime spot. The woman died and the reason for her death was the head injury. The two men who did not cause any grave injury (including my friend) argued in the court that the death was not caused due to them and that they should not be held guilty of murder. However, the Sessions Court held that all 4 accused men will be guilty of murder under Section 302 and also under Section 34. My friend is now going for an appeal in the Higher Court. "

    - Mr. Manoj Khumao

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Important Judgments on Section 34 IPC

1. Rangaswamy vs. State of Tamil Nadu

[AIR 1989 SC 1137, 1989 Supp (1) SCC 686]

In this case, accused no. 3 was convicted by the trial court for committing offences contrary to section 302 r/w section 34; section 307 r/w section 34 and section 506 of IPC. He came to the Supreme Court with the pleading that he was only on friendly terms with accused no. 1 and accused no. 2 and he did not share any common intention with them to kill the deceased or to attack the deceased companion. He said that it was by chance that he was present at the site of offence and he had not participated in the commission of the offence. The accused no. 1 had a prior enmity with the deceased as he was accused of murdering the brother of accused no. 1 and then he was released on bail. The occurrence of crime took place in a bazaar/market. The court held that presence of accused no. 3 was established at the site of offence but there is no evidence to show that he shared a common intention with the other two accused. The Supreme Court acquitted accused no. 3 of all the charges.

2. William Stanley vs. State of Madhya Pradesh

[AIR 1956 SC 116, (1955)2 SCR 1140]

In this case, the accused was a 22 year old man who was in love with the sister of the deceased. The deceased didn’t like his intimacy. On the day of occurrence, there was a quarrel between the deceased and the accused and the accused was asked to go away from the house. Later, the accused returned with his younger brother and called the sister of deceased to come out. Instead of the sister, the deceased brother came out. There was a heated exchange of words. The accused slapped the deceased on the cheek. Then accused snatched hockey stick from his younger brother and gave one blow on the head of deceased due to which his skull was fractured. The deceased died in hospital 10 days later. According to doctor, the injury was such as likely to cause death. Both accused and his co- accused brother were charged for murder under section 302 read with section 34 of IPC. The co-accused brother was acquitted of all the charges but appellant was held guilty under section 302 of IPC. On the facts of the case, the conviction was altered into culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 of IPC.

3. Chhotu vs. State of Maharashtra

[AIR 1997 SC 3501]

In this case, the complainant party was attacked by the accused as a result of which one person died. The witness who was produced stated that three persons were assaulting the deceased and the fourth one was simply standing, holding a knife in his hand. It was held that only three accused were liable under section 302 read with Section 34 of IPC and fourth one didn’t share the common intention.

4. Dadasahib Patalu Misal vs. State of Maharashtra

[1987 Cri.L.J. 1512 (BOM) (DB)]

In the case of Dadasaheb Patalu Misal and others v. State of Maharashtra, an incident happened at the village Panchegaon-Khurd, Taluka Sangola, District Solapur on the morning of 30th July 1980 around 7.30 A.M. The case is about 32 accused who formed into an unlawful assembly with the common object of forcibly removing the wood from the scene of offence. They were even ready to do a murderous assault it required. The accused armed themselves with axes, sticks, spears, iron bars and whips, etc. and went to the scene of offence on that particular day and started removing woods. The complainant and his brothers also came to the site. When complainant stopped them from taking away wood, accused no. 1 suddenly inflicted an axe blow on ganpati. Then other accused also inflicted blows on ganpati. Accused no. 2 inflicted blow on vithoba who was going towards ganpati. The court convicted only some of the persons for unlawful assembly and the remaining were acquitted. The court also said that presence of a person at the site of offence even with weapons does not amount that he is a part of the offence.

5. Balaji Gunthu Dhule v. State of Maharashtra

[(2012) 11 SCC 685]

In the case of Balaji Gunthu Dhule v. State of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court set aside the conviction of the petitioner. The facts of the case are as follows; there was a quarrel between Ranga Rao (deceased) and Shantabai (other accused who died during trial). There were allegations that the accused persons have killed Ranga Rao. The appellant in his statement under Section 313 of the Code admits that there was a quarrel between Shantabai (deceased accused) and P.W. 10 and while rushing to the spot of quarrel the deceased involuntarily fell on a cement concrete platform - Otta and thereby suffered the fatal injury. The court then acquitted the appellant even though he was present at the site of offence.

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