Criminal Intention is the best form of blameworthiness of mind or mens rea.
Intention occupies a symbolic region in criminal law. As the very highest form
of the mental element, it applies to homicide and the gravest shape of crimes in
the criminal justice system. The term 'intention' isn't defined in Indian Penal
Code but segment 34 of IPC deals with common aim.
The purpose made among
numerous human beings to do something wrong and act finished in that manner in
which it became formulated comes under the sanction of Section 34 of IPC.
criminal cases common intentions are mentioned under section 34 of the Indian
Penal Code, 1861 says that any acts done by a few people in encouragement of
normal aim- When a criminal demonstration is finished by a few people in
assistance of the normal goal of all, every one of such people is at risk for
that demonstration in a similar way as though it were finished by him alone.
Even though the main accused has died or not, does not lessen the guilt of the
co-accused. If an evidence court finds that co-accused in anyhow helped the main
accused and had similar intention as the main accused had then co-accused will
also face the same charges.
Essential details of the case
Case Citation: MANU/SC/0486/2018
Petitioner(s): Murugan v/s
Respondent(s): State of Tamil Nadu
Concerned Statues and Provisions: Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) - Section 34,
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) - Section 302, Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) -
Section 364; Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) - Section 313; Constitution
of India - Article 136.
Bench: R.K.Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre,jj.
Present Status: co-accused is liable as had common intention
Counsels: For Appellant/Petitioner/Plaintiff: Chitrangda Rastravara, Aishwarya
Bhati, T. Gopal, Tanuja Patra and Karan Singh Bhati, Advs.
For Respondents/Defendant: M. Yogesh Khanna, Sujatha Bagadhi, Maha Lakshmi and
Fact of the case
In this case appellant (Kumar)was not interested in his wife and was therefore
living separately. Geetah was in sixth standard. Both Geetah and Kumar was
living in the same locality. Kumar started liking for Geetha. And therefore
proposed for marriage. But Geetha's father(Murugan) did not want as he believed
that Kumar can ruin the life of his daughter as he did with his own wife. One
day Kumar went Geetah's house and demanded chilli.
As no one was in the house
except Geetah, she denied. But Kumar forcefully took chilli from her house and
started threatening Geetha that he would kidnap her and would marry her. Same
day Kumar and his cousin offered Geetha's father( Murugan) for dinner and drink.
Murugan (Geetha's father) accepted and went along with Kumar and his cousin.
When Murugan did not returned even after 11 pm Geetah visited Kumar's house she found
that all the three (Kumar, his cousin and Murugan) were sitting in the room and
were dining together. She returned back as her father assured her that he would
be coming back shortly. When Murugan didn't return till next day. Geetha and her
mother went Kumar's house to find his father. When they went they saw the dead
body Murugan. An FIR was registered against Kumar and his cousin. During trial
Kumar died. The matter was adjudicated against co-accused wherein he was found
guilty. And the co-accused guilt was upheld by high court and Supreme Court.
Issue of the case
The following issues were raised:
Decision of the bench
- Whether the motive of the co-accused was present in the case or not
- Whether accused and co-accused knew each other or not
- Whether both the two did preparation for committing murder or not
- Whether co-accused was present during the commission of the crime
- Whether co-accused will be facing the same punishment as main accused
In the case victim's father was murdered. Police arrested the accused and
co-accused. But during trial the main-accused died. Therefore, trial against
accused abated whereas it continued against co-accused. To demonstrate the
charges, the arraignment analyzed 12 observers, stamped 20 displays and created
15 material items.
In the procedures Under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter alluded to as the Code), the Appellant was
approached to clarify the conditions showing up against him yet he denied the
charges including the conditions without offering any clarification. On
02.08.2006 additional session judge hold appellant liable and convicted him for
the offence punishable under sec 364 and 304 read with sec 34 of Indian Penal
Code and awarded life imprisonment under sec 304 of Indian Penal Code.
years Under Section 364 and a fine amount of Rs. 5,000/- and Rs. 1000/-
respectively. But co-accused file appeal in High Court. High court further
upheld the judgment of subordinate court therefore, accused file the special
leave petition in Supreme Court. It is a settled guideline of law that when the
Courts beneath have recorded simultaneous discoveries against the Accused
individual which depend on due enthusiasm for proof, this Court Under Article
136 of the Constitution of India would be delayed to meddle in such simultaneous
discoveries and would not see the value in the didn't either think about the
applicable piece of proof or there exists any backwardness or/and silliness in
the discoveries recorded by both the Courts underneath and so on. Court to
ensure the legal sustainability entertained the case.
Court held that the two
Courts below have rightly held that the Appellant's conviction was based on
circumstantial evidence which, in this case, the prosecution was able to prove
it by adducing evidence.
Court upheld the decision of the two courts below by
- motive was against the deceased due to his not consenting to the
proposal of marriage of Main Appellant with his daughter
- the Appellant and Main Appellant, both being the cousins, knew one
another very well
- both went together to the house of the deceased to invite him for a
dinner at Main Appellant's house;
- Fourth, all the three had dinner together at Main Appellant's house
- Main Appellant gave his confessed his guilt
- recovery of weapon and cloths at the instance of Main Appellant
- The dead body was found lying near iron cot where deceased had last
dinner with Main Appellant and the Appellant.
A theory of "accused last seen in the company of the deceased
" is a strong
situation against the accused while appreciating the circumstantial evidence.
In such cases, except if the blamed can clarify appropriately the material
conditions showing up against him, he can be held liable for commission of
offense for which he is charged. For this situation, it was appropriately held
by the two Courts beneath against the appealing party and we track down horrible
ground to upset this finding.
Indian courts are very much stringent in dealing with
criminal cases. Courts believe that even though co-accused was not the main
accused or did not have actually engaged in the commission of the crime will be
held liable as the main accused. As intention to commit a crime also promotes or
enhances the field of crime or confidence of the main accused to commit the
illegal act. It creates the situation of joint liability. Common intention makes
accused to follow the same path of illegality.
Each and every person doesn't
matter the role and contribution, if their intention was common as the
main-accused to commit a crime will be held equally liable. Section 34 of the
Indian Penal Code says that act done by several people in furtherance of common
intention of all, each of such person is liable for that act in the same manner
as if it were done by him alone.co-accused cannot claim that he was not the
If co-accused didn't refute to help the main-accused and provide
support while committing a crime itself prove that co-accused had also some evil
intention and therefore served equally in the crime. Common intention was there
is itself sufficient evidence.
This case can be compared with Barendra kumar
Ghosh v. King Emperor
 where court cited that even if co-accused didn't do
anything while commiting a crime, he supported main-accused by standing outside
the door and kept watching is considered to be a part of the crime and
therefore, it establishes a common intention to commit a crime.
This type of judgments not only point out the main-accused
but also to the supporters. It is true that there may not be common intention
but happened only by chance, but in such a scenario court decides whether
intention was there or not on the basis of fact and evidences.Fixing
vicarious liability underneath s.34 or s.149 relies upon on their technique
followed to provide the crime.
There are two sections dealing with common intention
and common object
beneath two chapters of IPC
and Of Offences Against Public Tranquillity
respectively. Sometimes there
arises difficulty in proving with proof that whether or not they shared
commonplace intention or now not. And also what number of humans had been the
contributors of Unlawful Assembly with their commonplace object equal.
these ambiguities have been removed by means of the Supreme Court in different
cases, after figuring out its statistics and scenario of every case. To clear and
better knowledge, Law Commission of India also gave many suggestions to
Legislature for modification of a few part of the statute.Even after a lot
attempt, there get up issues of which regulation might be relevant among the two
in a few critical instances, and investigators and rate sheet filers make errors
in this regard.
Written By: Vishwajeet Kumar
- Ratanlal & Dhirajlal -The Indian Penal Code – 33rd Edition
- Murugan v.State of Tamil Nadu MANU/SC/0486/2018
- By Act 27 of 1870, sec. 1, for section 34.
- Barendra Kumar Ghosh v. King Emperor, AIR 1925 PC 1
- Criminal Law: Cases and Materials – Sixth Edition: K D Gaur
- Law Commission of India (Forty Second report: Indian Penal Code) 1971.
-3rd Semester National Law University And
Judicial Academy Assam