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Ram Chandra Hansda and Ors. Vs. The State of Jharkhand - (High Court of Jharkhand) (25 Jul 2017)

Essence of Section 34 of IPC, is simultaneous consensus of minds of persons participating in criminal action to bring about particular result



Present appeals arise out of common judgment and sentence passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court. Trial Court after hearing parties and after analyzing evidence and considering entire materials on record convicted Appellants under Sections 302/34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life and imposed a fine of Rs. 1000/- each. In default of payment of fine, they were further directed to undergo simple imprisonment for 3 months.

Essence of Section 34 of IPC is simultaneous consensus of minds of persons participating in criminal action to bring about a particular result. Such consensus can be developed at spot also and thereby intended by all of them. "Furtherance of common intention" as envisaged in Section 34 of IPC, has to be drawn from facts and conduct of accused as well as others and related circumstances of the case.

From facts of present case, it was found that, Appellants made deceased immobile and numerous assault was made which shows that their intention was also to see that, deceased dies. Further, from evidence, it is clear that there was an enmity between deceased and Appellants as Appellants had earlier threatened deceased of dire consequence on account of non-payment of donation. Entire circumstances clearly suggest that, intention of each one of them to kill deceased was known to each one and they shared them. Conduct of accused persons confirms applicability of Section 34 of IPC, in present case on evidence gathered.

Supreme Court in case of Parasa Raja Manikyala Rao and Anr. v. State of A.P., while dealing with Section 34 of IPC held that section really means that, if two or more persons intentionally do a common thing jointly, it is just the same as if each of them had done it individually. It is a well-recognised canon of criminal jurisprudence that, Courts cannot distinguish between co-conspirators, nor can they inquire, even if, it were possible as to the part taken by each in the crime. Where parties go with a common purpose to execute a common object, each and every person becomes responsible for the act of each and every other in execution and furtherance of their common purpose; as the purpose is common, so must be the responsibility. All are guilty of the principal offence, not of abetment only.

Case in hand is somewhat similar on facts, which was dealt with by Supreme Court in PRM Rao’s case. Witnesses are consistent and participation/involvement of two appellants in commission of murder cannot be doubted. Thus, trial court has correctly convicted Appellants under Section 302 of IPC with aid of Section 34 of IPC and sentenced them to undergo rigors imprisonment for life even though they did not give fatal blow.

Relevant : Parasa Raja Manikyala Rao and Anr. vs. State of A.P. MANU/SC/0823/2003


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