Principles of Group or Joint Liability: State liability to pay compensation for police Atrocities

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Written By: Fiza Firdaus Ansari

Joint liability has a busy concept that is, generally, if a person commits a crime it will be his or her mens-rea  And his or her how to fold and also his or her liability this is an individual liability. But, where to person for example A & B, and they plan to commit a crime with X;  Here we have joined mens-rea and joined the fold and both A and B had complementarity. This act is complementing  To both A & B. Hence, the concept will be known as Joint Liability.

In the law of thought, it is simultaneous law with IPC, that is why it is explained as a civil wrong. Tort has our concept named vicarious liability which has maxims “Respondent-Superior”  means if a servant has done a crime during his course of employment, then his owner will also be responsible for the crime. In IPC the same concept is known by the name of Joint Liability.

Joint Liability has two concepts :-

  • Common intention [Section 34]
  • Common Object [Section 141, 149]

Common Intention

Section 34 – The act which is done by several people not by any one individual and in furtherance of common intention – when a criminal act is performed by several people in furtherance of one common intention of all, each of that person will be liable for the particular act in the same manner it is done by one individual.

Common Object

Every member of unlawful assembly is guilty of opens committed in prosecution of common objects-  If any unlawful assembly member out of it anyone member committed the crime and it was the common object of the whole unlawful assembly the all are responsible for the act.

Example:-  A, B, C, D &E  Has decided to kill X and an alone had killed him then all will be liable because all have decided and it was the member of the unlawful assembly under section 149.

There are 3 conditions that must be fulfilled for an unlawful Assembly

  1. There must be 5 or more 5 members
  2.  They must have a common object and the common object must be which is mentioned under section 141 of IPC.
  3. The object must be Illegal.

Case: Bhargavan vs State of Kerala

It was said that, in prosecution of common object- means what?

It means in order to attain common object.

Essential Ingredients Of Sec. 149

  • There must be an unlawful assembly as defined in section 141
  •  A criminal act must be done by any member of such assembly
  •  At done is a for the prosecution of the common object of the assembly or such which was likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object.
  • Members have voluntarily joined the unlawful assembly and new the common object of the Assembly.

Common Intention Vs Common Object

  1. Section 34 deals with common invention whereas, section 149 deals with a common object.
  2.  Section 34 mentions a rule of evidence and it does not create any specific offense. Section 149 creates specific offenses along with the rule of evidence.
  3.  The common intention under section 34 can be of any kind, whereas is a common object under section 149 must be one of the objects mentioned in section 141.
  4.  Section 34 requires the prior meeting of minds between all the members prior to the offensive whereas section 149 does not require a prior meeting of minds membership of the unlawful assembly is sufficient only.
  5.  It is mandatory for section 34 to have at least two persons whereas 149 require to have at least 5 people.
  6.  Section 34 deals with public general whereas section 149 are related to public tranquillity.
The Law Communicants

About the Author

Fiza Firdaus Ansari

2nd year

B.B.A.LLB (Hons.)

Banasthali Vidyapith


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