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Causing of injury is not necessary to determine whether a person was a member of an Unlawful Assembly: Madhya Pradesh High Court

It was upheld by Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of Bhaggo Bai vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh by Hon’ble Justice Mr. Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1116 OF 2014) that in order to find out as to whether a person was a member of Unlawful Assembly or he was sharing a common object or not, causing of injury is not sine qua non.

Facts of the case – The prosecution story in short is that on 15-9-2009 at 08:10 A.M., the complainant Narayan lodged an FIR on the allegations that on 14-9-2009, a dispute had taken place between him and Hemant Kushwaha on the issue of fetching water from the water tanker sent by Municipal Council. Today, at about 7:45 A.M., his father was sitting on a platform constructed in front of his house. On the issue of water, Thakurdas, with sword, Hemant with sword, Sodam with sword and brother-in-law of Hemant with sword, Chhaviram with baka (Chopper), Janaki with iron rod, Chunge with Lathi and Bhaggo bai empty handed came on the spot and started abusing him filthily. When his father objected to it, then Hemant and Thakurdas, with an intention to kill his father assaulted by sword as a result his father sustained injuries on his head and forehead, as well as on teeth and blood started oozing out. When his brother Amar Singh tried to intervene, then Sodam Singh assaulted him by sword whereas Janaki assaulted him by iron rod. At that time, Bhaggo bai, wife of Chhaviram exhorted that all should be killed so that the daily dispute may come to an end. When his wife Asha and the complainant Narayan tried to intervene in the matter, the Appellant Chhaviram assaulted his wife by Baka, as a result she sustained injury on her right forearm. Chunge, and brother-in-law of Hemant also caused injuries to his father and brother.

After hearing his alarm, his brother Premnarayan, Ashok and brother-in-law Ashok also came on the spot. The assailants ran away. Thereafter, he took his brother and father to the hospital in an injured condition, where his father was declared dead by the Doctors. The complainant stated that he has come to the Police Station after leaving the injured and other witnesses in the hospital. Accordingly, the police registered FIR in Crime No. 650 of 2009 for offence under Sections 302,307,147,148,149 of IPC. Amar Singh died during his treatment. The dead bodies were sent for post-mortem.

It was submitted by the counsel for the appellant that the only allegation against the appellant is that of exhorting the co-accused persons.The Appellant has not caused any injury, therefore, She cannot be said to be a member of Unlawful Assembly or sharing common object.

Judgement – After hearing the arguments of both the sides the judge stated that it is clear that all the accused persons came to the house of the deceased and were armed with sword, iron rod and lathi. The co-accused assaulted the deceased Gangaram and Amar Singh. The Appellant Bhaggo bai exhorted to kill the deceased persons and to finish the dispute for once and all. Thus, it is clear that all the Appellant and co-accused persons were the members of Unlawful Assembly and in furtherance of Unlawful Object, they assaulted the deceased persons. Further more, in order to find out as to whether a person was a member of Unlawful Assembly or he was sharing a common object or not, causing injury is not sine qua non.

For mulcting liability on the members of an unlawful assembly under Section 149, it is not necessary that every member of the unlawful assembly should commit the offence in prosecution of the common object of the assembly.

Accordingly, if the facts of the present case are considered,the participation of each and every co- accused including Appellant clearly indicates that not only she was the member of Unlawful Assembly but was also sharing a common object.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY – SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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