Common Intention vs. Same or Similar Intention

Home Forums Does Common Intention mean ‘same’ intention? Common Intention vs. Same or Similar Intention

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      Section 34 IPC can be summed up as: if an act is done by more than 1 person, that too in furtherance of a common intention, every such person involved would be liable as if the act was done by him/her alone. The section specifically mentions the presence of a common intention of all involved in the act, for the criminal act to fall under section 34 IPC. Here, arises a need to differentiate between common intention & same intention, and to keep in mind the 2 terms cannot be used interchangeably. Common intention implies that there has to be a pre-arranged plan, there has to be a prior meeting of mind of all participating in the act. This is not the case with Same intention. Similar intention does not necessarily mean that there is a pre-decided plan that is to be executed. There also does not exist any prior meeting of mind.
      Let us understand this with an example, Sherlock & Watson have a feeling of animosity towards a guy called Ford who runs a bar named Hitchhiker’s Galaxy down the street. One fine day Sherlock goes with a sickle, down to the bar and runs the sickle across the throat of Ford. Watson on the other hand had no idea of the same. The above crime scene involves Sherlock alone, whereas Watson shares only a similar feeling of animosity with Sherlock towards Ford. There is no prior arrangement of the plan to kill Ford between Sherlock & Watson. So we can say Watson & Sherlock have a similar intention towards Ford, but they have no common intention of the same. There is no prior meeting of mind before Sherlock carried out the killing, in fact Watson had no idea of the same. Thus assuming the situation takes place in India, section 34 will not be attracted as there is no act done in furtherance of a common intention. Sherlock alone will be liable for killing Ford. Now here is a situation where Section 34 is attracted, here, Sherlock & Watson had a pre-decided and arranged plan to kill Ford. Sherlock goes inside the bar kills Ford, & Watson is sitting in the Security room looking and informing Sherlock of the happenings around the bar. Now, because there is prior meeting of mind and the act is done in furtherance of a common intention section 34 is applied. The fact that Watson is not present at the crime scene is of no significance and does not affect the attraction of section 34.
      Thus, common intention & similar intention are different terms. To the answer the question specifically, No, the element of common intention does not require the presence of similar intention, as similar intention is not enough to attract section 34. Something more than same intention is required. Therefore, common intention is a step ahead of similar intention.

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