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Supreme Court: Common Intention Under Section 34 IPC Can Arise Just Before or During Incident

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Published on: December 03, 2023 at 12:56 IST

The Supreme Court highlighted that shared intent among perpetrators can emerge moments before or during an incident, emphasizing the scope of Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

A case involving the conviction under Section 302 read with 34 IPC was under scrutiny. The accused were identified along with their weapons by the victim and his brother. The assailants, armed with lathis and an iron rod, surrounded and viciously assaulted the victim, resulting in his demise.

Challenging the conviction, the appellant argued the lack of evidence supporting the notion of “common intention” on their part, therefore contesting the applicability of Section 34 IPC for the conviction.

The bench clarified that Section 34 of IPC attributes liability to each participant for a collective act done with common intention, regardless of any pre-planned scheme. It clarified that establishing common intention among co-accused does not mandate prior discussion or a formal plan; it’s a psychological reality that can manifest right before or even during the incident.

Citing a pertinent case, the Court highlighted how Section 34 IPC is applied to implicate all perpetrators when a collective act is performed, attributing joint liability to co-participants.

The Court observed the active involvement of the appellant in the assault on the victim, confirming their shared intent in the crime. Consequently, the bench dismissed the appeal filed by the accused.

The case in question was titled Ram Naresh v. State of U.P.