Section 149 IPC -Merely Because A Person Disclosed Victim’s Hideout, He Can’t Be Held To Part Of Unlawful Assembly: Supreme Court

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Section 149 IPC -Merely Because A Person Disclosed Victim’s Hideout, He Can’t Be Held To Part Of Unlawful Assembly

Case: Taijuddin versus State of Assam

Coram: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh

Case No.: Criminal Appeal No. 1526 Of 2021

Court Observation: “In our view, learned counsel for the appellant rightly contended that the mere fact that the appellant was not brave enough to conceal where the victim was hiding did not make him a part of the unlawful assembly”

“The Court must guard against the possibility of convicting mere passive onlookers who did not share the common object of the unlawful assembly. There must be reasonable direct or indirect circumstances which lend assurance to the prosecution case that they shared common object of the unlawful assembly. Not only should the members be part of the unlawful assembly but should share the common object at all stages. This has to be based on the conduct of the members and the behaviour at or near the scene of the offence, the motive for the crime, the arms carried by them and such other relevant considerations”.

“The only evidence of his involvement is that he pointed to the house where the victim was hiding. Given that a murderous mob fully armed was hunting for him, the appellant at best can be said not to be brave enough to conceal the deceased or even to have not pointed out where he was, but that by itself cannot rope in the appellant under Section 149 of the IPC”

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