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‘Common object’ is different from a ‘common intention’ as it does not require a prior concert and a common meeting of minds before the attack : Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of The State Of Madhya Pradesh vs Homsingh (Cr.A. No. 346/2016) upheld that ‘Common object’ is different from a ‘common intention’ as it does not require a prior concert and a common meeting of minds before the attack.

Facts of the case: Criminal appeal No.346/2016 has been filed by the State against the same judgment being aggrieved by acquittal of respondents Homsingh, Ramdutt and Satyaprakash under Sections 148, 302/149, 324/149 and 307/149 of IPC.

On 3.7.2007 complainant Narendra Sharma along with his father Ramlakhan Sharma in injured condition lodged a Dehati Nalishi at Surgical Ward of Distt. Hospital to the effect that on that day they were working on their field at Bajariya; his brother Ramgopali was plowing the field with a tractor and complainant and his father Ramlakhan were collecting stubble. At about 7 pm all the accused persons came there armed with guns, axes and lathis and after surrounding Ramgopal started firing on him with intention to kill him. Gunshot fired by Hanumandas hit at his waist, due to which blood started oozing out. Complainant and his father, when trying to save Ramgopal, then accused persons with intention to kill, started firing on them. The complainant sustained injuries on his head and as a result of which fell down. Father of the complainant also sustained injuries at different parts of his body. Damodar, Homsingh and Santosh committed Marpeet with Lathi and ax. After trial, the learned trial Court acquitted respondents.

Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that appellants had been falsely implicated in the case on account of election rivalry. The eye-witnesses of the case are related witnesses therefore, looking to the fact that there is previous enmity between parties, evidence of these witnesses cannot be relied on.

It was submitted by the learned counsel for the State that the trial Court had erred in acquitting accused Satyaprakash, Ramdatt and Homesingh when they were carrying 12 bore gun, 315 bore gun and Lathi and actively participated in the incident.

Judgment: In the present case it was to be examined as to whether the accused persons in the present case came at the spot with the common object to kill the deceased Gopali or not.

The court held that the ‘Common object’ under section 141 is different from a ‘common intention’ as it does not require a prior concert and a common meeting of minds before the attack. It is enough if each has the same object in view and their number is five or more and that they act as an assembly to achieve that object. The ‘common object’ of an assembly is to be ascertained from the acts and language of the members composing it, and from a consideration of all the surrounding circumstances. The purpose for which the members of the assembly set out or desired to achieve is the object.

From the facts of the case, it was revealed that the common object of the accused persons in the unlawful assembly was to stop deceased Gopali to plow the land. Thus, in the considered opinion of the Court common object of other appellants could not be stretched to the extent that they shared common object with accused Hanumandas to kill the deceased. But the evidence of injured eye-witnesses that they were beaten by appellants Santosh, Damodar and Pramod and accused Homesingh by means of Lathi and ax was well supported by medical evidence. Appellants Homsingh, Pramod, Santosh and Damodar were convicted under Section 324 of IPC. But Satyapkash and Ramdutt were acquitted since it could not be established that they had the common object of killing the deceased. 

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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