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Mere statement or common intention may not attract Section 34 IPC: Supreme Court explains

The Court laid down the following with respect to the provision and how and when it would stand attracted.

– Section 34 IPC creates a deeming fiction by infusing and importing a criminal act constituting an offence committed by one, into others, in pursuance to a common intention.

– The intent of Section 34 IPC is to remove the difficulties in distinguishing the acts of individual members of a party, acting in furtherance of a common intention. There has to be a simultaneous conscious mind of the persons participating in the criminal action of bringing about a particular result

– What is required is the proof of common intention. Thus, there may be an offence without common intention, in which case Section 34 IPC does not get attracted.

– Onus is on the prosecution to prove the common intention to the satisfaction of the court.

– The quality of evidence will have to be substantial, concrete, definite and clear. When a part of evidence produced by the prosecution to bring the accused within the fold of Section 34 IPC is disbelieved, the remaining part will have to be examined with adequate care and caution, as we are dealing with a case of vicarious liability fastened on the accused by treating him at par with the one who actually committed the offence.

– A mere common intention per se may not attract Section 34 IPC, sans an action in furtherance.

Source: Barandbench

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