Home       Top Rated       Submit Article     Advanced Search     FAQ       Contact Us       Lawyers in India       Law Forum     RSS Feeds     

Register your Copyright Online

We offer copyright registration right from your desktop click here for details.

Latest Articles | Articles 2014 | Articles 2013 | Articles 2012 | Articles 2011 | Articles 2010 | Articles 2009 | Articles 2008 | Articles 2007 | Articles 2006 | Articles 2000-05

Search On:Laws in IndiaLawyers Search

Mutual Consent Divorce in Delhi
We provide fast, cost effective and Hassle free solution.
Contact us at Ph no: 9650499965 (Divorce Law Firm Delhi)
File Caveat in Supreme Court
Contact Ph no: +9650499965

Main Categories
 Accident Law
 Animal Laws
 Aviation Law
 Bangladesh Law
 Banking and Finance laws
 Case Laws
 Civil Laws
 Company Law
 Constitutional Law
 Consumer laws
 Contracts laws
 Criminal law
 Drug laws
 Dubai laws
 Educational laws
 Employment / Labour laws
 Environmental Law
 family law
 Gay laws and Third Gender
 Human Rights laws
 Immigration laws
 Insurance / Accident Claim
 Intellectual Property
 International Law
 Juvenile Laws
 Law - lawyers & legal Profession
 Legal Aid and Lok Adalat
 Legal outsourcing
 Media laws
 Medico legal
 Pakistan laws
 Real estate laws
 Right To Information
 Tax Laws
 Torts Law
 Woman Issues
 Workplace Equality & Non-Discrimination
 Yet Another Category

More Options
 Most read articles
 Most rated articles

Subscribe now and receive free articles and updates instantly.


Published : October 14, 2012 | Author : Rajibhassan
Category : Criminal law | Total Views : 52779 | Rating :

Rajib Hassan LL.B[Hons], LL.M., UGC NET, Ph.D Scholar

Common Intention And Common Object Under The Indian Penal Code 1860:
A Comparative Analysis

I. 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.

II. Object Of Section 34:- Section 34 lays down only a rule of evidence and does not create 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.

III. Elements Of Section 34: To attract the application of Section 34, the following conditions must be satisfied:-

1. Some Criminal Act: - ‘Criminal act’ used in section 34 does not refer to individual acts where a crime is committed by a group of persons. Where a crime is committed by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all of them, each of them doing some act, similar or diverse, big or small shall be liable for that act. ‘That act’ refers to the ‘criminal act’ used in section 34 which means the unity of criminal behaviour which results in something for which an individual would be punishable if it were all done by himself alone in an offence.

2. Criminal Act Done By Several Persons: - The criminal act in question must have been done by several persons i.e. by more than one person. The number of wrong doers should be at least two. Most importantly, if the criminal act was fresh and independent act springing wholly from the mind of the doer, the others are not liable merely because when it was done they were intending to be partakers with the doer in a different criminal act.

3. Common Intention:- The words “in furtherance of the common intention of all” were added to section 34 after words ‘persons’ in 1870 the idea for which, possibly, was derived from the following passage of the Privy Council’s judgment:

“Where parties go with a common purpose to execute a common intention, each and everyone becomes responsible for the acts of each and every other in execution and furtherance of their common purpose, as the purpose is common so must be the responsibility.” [Ref. Ganesh Singh v. Ram Raja, (1869) 3 Beng LR (PC) 44, 45]

The expression ‘common intention’ means unity of purpose or a pre-arranged plan; it has been given various meanings which are as follows-

· Common intention implies a pre-arranged plan, prior meeting of minds, prior consultation in between all the persons constituting the group [Ref. Mahboob Shah v. Emperor, AIR 1945 PC 118].

· Common intention means the mens rea necessary to constitute the offence that has been committed [Ref. As per DAS, J., in Ibra Akanda v. Emperor, AIR 1944 Cal. 339].

· It also means evil intent to commit some criminal act, but not necessarily the same offence which is committed [Ref. As per WANCHOO, J., in Saidu Khan v. The State, AIR 1951 All 21 (F.B.)].

· 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.

· Where there is no indication of premeditation or of a pre-arranged plan, the mere fact that the two accused were seen at the spot or that the two accused fired as a result of which one person died and two others received simple injuries could not be held sufficient to infer common intention [Ref. Ramachander v. State of Rajasthan, 1970 Cr.L.J. 653].

· However, common intention may develop on the spot as between a number of persons and this has to be inferred from the act and conduct of the accused, and facts and circumstances of the case [Ref. Kripal Singh v. State of U.P., AIR 1954 SC 706].

4. 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”.

IV. Common Object:- Section 149, like Section 34, is the other instance of constructive joint liability. Section 149 creates a specific offence. It runs as under:
“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 assembly, is guilty of that offence.”

V. Elements Of Section 149:- The essence of offence under Section 149 is assembly of several (five or more) persons having one or more of the common objects mentioned in Section 141 and it could be gathered from the nature of the assembly, arms used by them and the behaviour of the assembly at or before scene of occurrence. Section 149 creates joint liability of all members of an unlawful assembly for criminal act done by any member in prosecution of the common object of the said assembly. So the essential ingredients of Section 149 are:

1. There must be an unlawful assembly, as defined in Section 141;

2. Criminal act must be done by any member of such assembly;

3. Act done is for prosecution of the common object of the assembly or such which was likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object;

4. Members have voluntarily joined the unlawful assembly and knew the common object of the assembly.

5. Mere presence and sharing of common object of the assembly makes a person liable for the offence committed even if he had no intention to commit that offence.

VI. Scope Of Section 149:-  The Section is divided into two parts-

1.In Prosecution Of The Common Object:- The words “in prosecution of the common object” show that the offence committed was immediately connected with the common object of the unlawful assembly of which accused were members. The act must have been done with a view to accomplish the common object of the unlawful assembly.

In Queen v. Sabid Ali, 11 BLR 347 the words “in prosecution of the common object” were construed as meaning “with a view to achievement of the common object”.

2. Members Knew To Be Likely:- The second part relates to a situation where the members of the assembly knew that the offence is likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object. A thing is likely to happen only when the situation is like “it will probably happen” or “may very well happen”. The word ‘knew’ indicates a state of mind at the time of commission of an offence, knowledge in this regard must be proved. The word ‘likely’ means some clear evidence that the unlawful assembly had such a knowledge.

VII. Difference Between Common Intention And Common Object:- The difference between common intention and common object may be stated as under:

1. Under Section 34 number of persons must be more than one. Under Section 149 number of persons must be five or more.

2. Section 34 does not create any specific offence but only states a rule of evidence. Section 149 creates a specific offence.

3. Common intention required under Section 34 may be of any type. Common object under Section 149 must be one of the objects mentioned in Section 141.

4. Common intention under Section 34 requires prior meeting of minds or pre-arranged plan, i.e. all the accused persons must meet together before the actual attack participated by all takes place. Under Section 149, prior meeting of minds is not necessary. Mere membership of an unlawful assembly at the time of commission of the offence is sufficient.

5. Under Section 34 some active participation is necessary, especially in a crime involving physical violence. Section 149 does not require active participation and the liability arises by reason of mere membership of the unlawful assembly with a common object.

VIII. Common Intention May Also Develop On The Spot: Exception To The General Rule- Generally, it is said that, “a common object may develop on the spot but a common intention cannot”. But, in certain circumstances common intention also may develop suddenly on the spot and such common intention may be inferred from the facts and circumstances of the case and conduct of the accused persons. Following cases are illustrative on this point-

In Kripal Singh v. State of U.P., AIR 1954 SC 706; the Supreme Court held that a common intention may develop on the spot after the offenders have gathered there. A previous plan is not necessary. Common intention may be inferred from the conduct of the accused and the circumstances of the case.

In Rishi Deo Pandey v. State of U.P., AIR 1955 SC 331; ‘A’ and ‘B’ two brothers were seen standing near the cot of the victim who was sleeping. One of them was armed with a ‘gandasa’ and another with a ‘lathi’, when a hue and cry was raised by the two brothers ran together, and both of them were seen running from the bed room of the victim. The victim died of an incised wound on the neck, which according to medical evidence was necessarily fatal. The court found that the two brothers shared the common intention to cause death. It was held that common intention may develop on the spot also.

In Khacheru Singh v. State of U.P., AIR 1956 SC 546; several persons attacked a man with lathis when he was passing through a field. The man eluded them and they gave chase, on overtaking him they once again attacked him. It was held that, these facts were sufficient to prove that the accused persons had been actuated with the common intention to assault the victim. Conviction under Section 326 read with Section 34 was sustained.

In Sheoram Singh v. State of U.P., AIR 1972 SC 2555; the Supreme Court held that common intention may develop suddenly during the course of an occurrence, but still unless there is cogent evidence and clear proof of such common intention.

Books Referred:
1. Prof. S.N.Mishra; Indian Penal Code; Central Law Publications, Allahabad, Tenth Edition (September) 2001.
2. K.D. Gaur; A Text Book of The Indian Penal Code, Universal Law Publishing Company Pvt. Limited, New Delhi, Third Edition 2004
3. Ratanlal and Dhirajlal; The Indian Penal Code; Wadhwa and Company, Nagpur; 28th Edition Reprint 2002.
4. O.P. Srivastava; Principles of Criminal Law, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, Third Edition 1997 Reprint 2004

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: rajibhassannet@legalserviceindia.com

1 2 3 4 5
Rate this article!     Poor

Most viewed articles in Criminal law category
The Power of The Magistrate Under Section 156 (3) of Cr.P.C
The Elements and Stages of a Crime
Dying Declaration-Section 32(1) of Indian Evidence Act
Confession under Indian Evidence Act
Duty of The Public Prosecutor In The Criminal Justice System
Experts Opinion and its admissibility and relevancy - Law of Evidence
Whether Section 324 Of IPC Is Bailable Or Non-Bailable
Rape Laws In India-Appropriate or not?
Change in definition of Rape in India
Mens Rea in Statutory Offences
Anti - terrorism laws in India
Section 91(1) CrPc: An analysis of Constitutional Validity
Common Intention And Common Object Under The Indian Penal Code 1860
Rights of Arrested Person
Need on capital punishment in the context of rape
Secondary Evidence
Most recent articles in Criminal law category
Prisoners Rights
BRD Hospital Tragedy Existence of Res Ipsa Loquitur Over UP Govt Reasonable Justification
The Fugitive Offenders Bill
How to quash 498A
Bail conditions
is rope an answer for crime?
Formation of Special Courts in Rape Cases for Speedy Trial: A Necessity
Quash 498a -Vague allegations in Fir
Quashing of False FIR registered under 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code
Unsophisticated Arena of Criminal Investigation: Loopholes and Repercussions
Terrorist and their Tactics:-Need of Creative Criminology
How a Defendant Grand Jury Testimony Can Be Used at Trial
Yakubs Death Punishment
Framing of a Law or Enforcement of a Law
Compensation: A Ray of Hope
Evidential Value of Private Reports in Court of Law

Article Comments

Posted by Usman Ali on June 05, 2014
at the point when a criminal demonstration is carried out by a few persons in encouragement of the Common Intention and Common Object and it's Difference of all, each of such individual is obligated for that demonstration in the same way as though it were carried out by only him.

Post Your Comments


Your comments

Note : Your email address is only visible to admin, other members / users cannot see it.

You can use following FXCodes

BOLD : [b]
Italic : [i]

[b] Legal Services India [/b] is a [i]nice website[/i].
[url= http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/ ]click here to visit.[/url]

Legal Services India is a nice website.
Click here to visit


Note : Currently, user comments are moderated and will be posted only after approval.

Please login or register a new free account.

Random Pick
This article deals with the scope and nature of the reference, review and revision.

» Total Articles
» Total Authors
» Total Views
» Total categories

Law Forum

Legal Articles

Lawyers in India- Click on a link below for legal Services

lawyers in Chennai
lawyers in Bangalore
lawyers in Hyderabad
lawyers in Cochin
lawyers in Pondicherry
lawyers in Guwahati
lawyers in Nashik

lawyers in Jaipur
lawyers in New Delhi
lawyers in Dimapur
lawyers in Agra
Noida lawyers
lawyers in Siliguri

For Mutual consent Divorce in Delhi

Ph no: 9650499965
For online Copyright Registration

Ph no: 9891244487
Law Articles

lawyers in Delhi
lawyers in Chandigarh
lawyers in Allahabad
lawyers in Lucknow
lawyers in Jodhpur
Faridabad lawyers

lawyers in Mumbai
lawyers in Pune
lawyers in Nagpur
lawyers in Ahmedabad
lawyers in Surat
Ghaziabad lawyers

lawyers in Kolkata
lawyers in Janjgir
lawyers in Rajkot
lawyers in Indore
lawyers in Ludhiana
Gurgaon lawyers


India's Most Trusted Online law library
Legal Services India is Copyrighted under the Registrar of Copyright Act ( Govt of India) 2000-2017
 ISBN No: 978-81-928510-1-3