The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 9th April 2019, in the matter of Palakom Abdul Rahiman v. The Station House Officer Badiadka Police Station, Kerala & Anr. pronounced that non-applicability of Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code does not bar conviction under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, provided there is evidence which discloses commission of offence in furtherance of common intention.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:
The true purport of Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is that if two or more persons intentionally do an act jointly, the position of law is just the same as if each of them have done it individually. The process of law is intended to meet a situation in which it may be difficult to distinguish between acts of individual members of a party who act in furtherance of the common intention. (Para 20)
The application of principles enunciated in Section 34 IPC, when an accused is convicted under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC, in law means that the accused is liable for the act which caused death of the deceased in the same manner as if it was done by him alone. Section 34 is applicable even if no injury has been caused by the particular accused himself. (Para 21)
The nonapplicability of Section 149 IPC is no bar in convicting the accused persons under Section 302 IPC read with Section 34 IPC provided there is evidence which discloses commission of offence in furtherance of common intention. (Para 22)
Copy of judgement:Judgement_09-Apr-2019