Indian Penal Code Section 34 - Common Intention


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Section 34: Acts Done By Several Persons In Furtherance Of Common Intention- According to Section 34, when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of 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.

Ingredients of Section 34:

For the applicability of Section 34 following elements are necessary:

(i) Criminal act;

(ii) Done by several persons;

(iii) In furtherance of common intention of all.

Object -
Section 34 lays down only a rule of evidence and does not create a substantive offence.So it is not a Substantive Offence. This section is intended to meet cases in which it may be difficult to distinguish between the acts of the individual members of a party or to prove exactly what part was taken by each of them in furtherance of the common intention of all. This section really means that if two or more persons intentionally do a thing jointly, it is just the same as if each of them has done it individually. The reason why all are deemed guilty in such cases is that the presence of accomplices gives encouragement, support and protection to the person actually committing an act.

What is the meaning of the expression “in furtherance of the common intention”? The dictionary meaning of the word “furtherance” is “advancement or promotion”. If four persons have a common intention to kill A, they will have to do many acts in promotion of that intention in order to fulfil it.

Common intention implies a pre-arranged plan. Pre-arranged plan means prior concert or prior meeting of minds. Criminal act must be done in concert pursuant to the pre-arranged plan. Common intention comes into being prior to the commission of the act in point of time.

Some illustrations will clarify the point. Four persons intend to kill A, who is expected to be found in a house. All of them participate in different ways. One of them attempts to enter the house but is stopped by the sentry and he shoots the sentry.

Though the common intention was to kill A, the shooting of the sentry is in furtherance of the said common intention. Section 34 applies. In a case father and son were accused. Along with co-accused they attacked deceased and his family members. Accused brought out deadly weapons from house by which accused and co-accused attacked deceased. One of the accused dealt only one blow on arm of deceased.

The circumstances indicate the intention of causing death, Section 34 applies. Take a third variation of the illustration. The intended victim has a twin brother who exactly resembles him and the accused who is entrusted with the part of shooting the intended victim, on a mistaken impression shoots the twin brother.

The shooting of the twin brother is also in furtherance of the common intention. The common intention may be to do one act and another act may be done in furtherance of the common intention. Such other act in furtherance may be a preliminary act necessary for achieving the common intention, or it may be done while achieving it or it may be done after achieving it.

If such other act has no connection with the common intention, it shall not be in furtherance and consequently Section 34 shall not apply. Thus, while the common intention is to kill a person, a theft is also committed by one of the several persons participating in the criminal act, Section 34 shall not apply in respect of the theft which shall be the separate act of the individual concerned and none others of the remaining persons shall be liable for it.

Emphasising this third aspect the Supreme Court in a case observed that it is true that in order to convict persons vicariously under Section 34, I.P.C., it is not necessary to prove that each and every one of them had indulged in overt acts. Even so, there must be material to show that the overt act or acts of one or more of the accused was or were done in furtherance of the common intention of all the accused.

Common intention may develop on the spot. :

In certain circumstances common intention may suddenly develop on the spot, which may be inferred by the conduct of the accused. This opinion was expressed by the Supreme Court in the case of Krishna Gobind Patil v. State of Maharashtra. The similar opinion was also approved by the Supreme Court in Hari Om v. State of U.P.

The Supreme Court, in Pratap Singh v. State of M.P., held that the common intention in criminal jurisprudence is the premeditated meeting of minds. No doubt the common intention can also be formed on the spot.

Participation In The Criminal Act:-
The participation in a criminal act of a group is a condition precedent in order to fix joint liability and there must be some overt act indicative of a common intention to commit an offence. The law requires that the accused must be present on the spot during the occurrence of the crime and take part in its commission; it is enough if he is present somewhere nearby.

The Supreme Court has held that it is the essence of the section that the person must be physically present at the actual commission of the crime. He need not be present in the actual room; he can for instance, stand guard by a gate outside ready to warn his companions about any approach of danger or wait in a car on a nearby road ready to facilitate their escape, but he must be physically present at the scene of the occurrence and must actually participate in the commission of the offence some way or other at the time crime is actually being committed.

The first leading case on the point is Barendra Kumar Ghosh v. King Emperor, AIR 1925 PC 1 (also known as Shankari Tola Post Office Murder Case). In this case several persons appeared before the sub-post master who was counting the money on the table and demanded the money. In the mean time they opened fire killed the sub-post master and ran away without taking any money. Barendra Kumar was, however, caught with a pistol in his hand and was handed over to the police.

The accused was tried under sections 302/34 as according to the prosecution he was one of the three men who fired at the sub-post master. The accused denied his charge on the ground that he was simply standing outside and had not fired at the deceased. The trial court, on being satisfied that the sub-post master was killed in furtherance of the common intention of all, convicted the accused even if he had not fired the fatal shot.

The High Court of Calcutta and the Privy Council both agreed with the findings of the trial court and held the accused guilty of murder. Giving his judgment LORD SUMNER quoting a line from Milton’s famous poem, “ON HIS BLINDNESS” said. “even if the appellant did nothing as he stood outside the door, it is to be remembered that in crimes as in other things they also serve who only stand and wait….. Section 34 deals with doing of separate act, similar or diverse by several persons; if all are done in furtherance of a common intention, each person is liable for the result of them all as if he had done them himself”.

So, mukdi gal eh a vi je 2 ja 2 to wadh bande galt kam karange ta oh eda jimewar honge jida oh crime ose bande ne kita hunda :d te eh sab "In Furtherance of Common Intention" howe te sab to main gal Section 34 apne aap ch koi crime nhi eh sirf baki crimes nal read kita janda jida Section 34 read with Section 302 (Murder) etc.