SC: To prove common intention, prior concert/previous plan isn’t necessary

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 16th December 2019, in the matter of Virender v. State of Haryana pronounced that for proving common intention, prior concert in the sense of a distinct previous plan is not necessary to be proved. The common intention to bring about a particular result may well develop on the spot as between a number of persons.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

In order to invoke the principle of joint liability in the commission of a criminal act as laid down in Section 34of IPC, the prosecution should show that the criminal act in question was done by one of the accused persons in furtherance of the common intention of all. If this is shown, the liability for the offence may be imposed on any one of the persons in the same manner as if the act was done by him alone. (Para 11)

It may be difficult to procure direct evidence to prove the intention of an individual, and in most cases it has to be inferred from the facts and relevant circumstances of the case. The common intention may be through a pre-arranged plan, or it may be generated just prior to the incident. Just as a combination of persons sharing the same common object is one of the features of an unlawful assembly, so is the existence of a combination of persons sharing the same common intention one of the features of Section 34 of IPC. (Para 11)

Prior concert in the sense of a distinct previous plan is not necessary to be proved. The common intention to bring about a particular result may well develop on the spot as between a number of persons. Thus, the question as to whether there is any common intention or not depends upon the inference to be drawn from the proven facts and circumstances of each case. The totality of the circumstances must be taken into consideration in arriving at the conclusion whether the accused persons had the common intention to commit the offence with which they could be convicted (Para 12)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_16-Dec-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *