Constructive liability

Section 34 to 38, Section 114 Section 149, 396,460 of the Indian Penal Code relates to Constructive liability. An offense of Constructive Liability arises when an offense is constituted by more then one of the accused under the prescribed circumstances.

In the case of State of Madhya Pradesh vs Deshraj 2004, it was said that Section 34 does not constitute any crime. It only prescribes the principle of criminal liability.

What is the general meaning of common intention

When people engaged in a task have the same intention then it is said to have the same intent but when such persons have already planned and worked for the same purpose then it is called a common intention. Act for the common intention under section 34 means criminal act.

Related case: – Panduranga and others vs. State of Hyderabad A.I.R. The common intention arises where the perpetrators have planned before committing the crime. The common intention does not arise where a criminal act is done without planning. A and B are accused of murdering A and B. Murders by a pre-planned plan then the common intention arises here. If there was no such pre-planned plan between A and B. It would not come out of the common intention but the pre-planned plan has no time limit where the incident takes place there  can be done also planning.

The important case  related to spot planning.

Abdullah v. State of Kerala A.I. R. 1951 SC 452

It is also considered necessary for the common intention to reconcile the minds of the criminals with the pre-planned plan. The brain can only match if the criminals have given consent before committing the crime.

What is section 34

The meaning of common intention was not detailed in section 34 in the original Code in advancing the common intention. In 1869, the Code of Ganesh Singh v. Rampooja was added to the Code in 1870 while prescribing by the Privy Council.

[34. Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention – When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.]

 According to Section 34, When any criminal act is done by many persons in forwarding their common intention then each of such persons will be under the same obligation as if they had done the same. It is the basic ingredient as well as to prove the active involvement of the accused for the determination of crime is also considered necessary.

Ingredients of Section 34

  • A crime has been done.
  • Criminal act done by more than one person.
  • Everyone involved in a criminal act has a common intention.
  • Criminal act has been occurred to advance the common intention.

Note: – This section does not make any concrete offense but binds all the actors under the rule of evidence.

Sewa Ram vs State of UP 2008 CLJ 802 SC

Important case for exam

  • Ganesh Singh vs Ram Pooja 1869
  • Varendra Kumar Ghosh vs Emperor A.I.R  1945 SC • 118
  • Kripal Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh 1954 S.C.
  • Shri Kantia v. State of Bombay 1955 S.C.
  • Rishi Dev Pandey v. Uttar Pradesh 1955 S.C.
  • J.M.Desai vs Bombay State A.I.R 1960 SC 889

[35. When such an act is criminal by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention. – Whenever an act, which is criminal only by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention, is done by several persons, each of such persons who joins in the act with such knowledge or intention is liable for the act in the same manner as if the act were done by him alone with that knowledge or intention.]

Note :- A person cannot be charged with a joint liability unless it is proved by the prosecution that the person was aware of the criminal act or intended to do it.

[36. Effect caused partly by act and partly by omission. – Wherever the causing of a certain effect, or an attempt to cause that effect, by an act or by an omission, is an offence, it is to be understood that the causing of that effect partly by an act and partly by an omission is the same offence.]

Partly caused by act and partly by omission If a crime is committed partly by act or partly by omission, the result will be the same as if it was done only by act or by omission.

Note:- ‘A’ person beaten his wife and serve the little food which makes her weak. In the same way he does it continuously for many months. His wife dies here.  A is guilty of murder.

[37. Co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence. – When an offence is committed by means of several acts, whoever intentionally co-operates in the commission of that offence by doing any one of those acts, either singly or jointly with any other person, commits that offence.]

Note :– The person will be considered to be involved in the crime if he directly or indirectly cooperates in committing the criminal act.

[38. Persons concerned in criminal act may be guilty of different offences. – Where several persons are engaged or concerned in the commission of a criminal act, they may be guilty of different offences by means of that act.]

Note :-This section makes it clear that the accused who do the act are more than one but they do not act to advance the common intention that is even if their act is one the intention to act may be different. हिंदी में पढ़ें