The concept of common intention plays a crucial role in Section 34 of the IPC, which holds all participants in a crime liable for the acts of each other if they share a common intention to commit the offense. While prior agreement or pre-arranged plan was traditionally considered essential for establishing common intention, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling has expanded the scope of this concept.
In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court has emphasized that common intention can be formed even at the spur of the moment, just minutes before the actual incident. This means that individuals who join in a criminal act spontaneously, without any prior agreement or pre-arranged plan, can still be held liable under Section 34 of the IPC.
The Court’s reasoning behind this decision stems from the recognition that criminal acts can sometimes arise from impulsive decisions made in the heat of the moment. In such cases, even though there may not be a formal agreement or pre-arranged plan, the shared intention to commit the crime can be inferred from the participants’ actions and conduct.
This ruling has significant implications for criminal law and liability in India. It expands the scope of Section 34 of the IPC, potentially holding a wider range of individuals accountable for their involvement in criminal offenses. Additionally, it underscores the importance of considering the context and circumstances surrounding a crime when determining whether common intention exists.
The Supreme Court’s decision has been welcomed by legal experts who view it as a progressive step in aligning criminal law with the realities of criminal behavior. It emphasizes the need to consider the spontaneity and impulsiveness of actions in determining liability, even in the absence of a formal agreement or pre-arranged plan.