March 25, 2021 at 9:20 am #2493InternParticipant
The distinction between common Intention and Common Object.
The question is related to two different sections of the Indian Penal Code, namely Section 34 and Section 149. Section 34 says “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.” While Section 149 says “If an offense 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 offense, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offense.”
The distinction between the sections can be drawn as:
(i) Section 34 does not constitute a concrete crime; it rather establishes the concept of mutual criminal liability. Whereas a separate crime is created by Section 149 and being a part of an illegal assembly is a criminal offense itself punishable by Section 143, where Section 143 is “Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.”
(ii) ‘Common purpose’ used in S.34 has not been specified elsewhere in the IPC, although one of the five ingredients defined in Section 141 of the IPC must be ‘common object.’ Section 141 is “An assembly of five or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly” if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is—
(a) To overawe by criminal force, or show of criminal force, 1[the Central or any State Government or Parliament or the Legislature of any State], or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant; or
(b) To resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process; or
(c) To commit any mischief or criminal trespass, or other offense; or
(d) By means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to any person, to take or obtain possession of any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of the use of water or another incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or supposed right; or
(e) By means of criminal force or show of criminal force, to compel any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally entitled to do.
-PREYANSI ANAND DESAI
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