Thursday, 13 September 2018

How to appreciate evidence if offences are committed by unlawful assembly?

 For recording a conclusion, that a person is (i) guilty of any one of the offences Under Sections 143, 146 or 148 or (ii) vicariously liable Under Section 149 for some other offence, it must first be proved that such person is a member of an 'unlawful assembly' consisting of not less than five persons irrespective of the fact whether the identity of each one of the 5 persons is proved or not. If that fact is proved, the next step of inquiry is whether the common object of the unlawful assembly is one of the 5 enumerated objects specified Under Section 141 Indian Penal Code.

30. The common object of assembly is normally to be gathered from the circumstances of each case such as the time and place of the gathering of the assembly, the conduct of the gathering as distinguished from the conduct of the individual members are indicative of the common object of the gathering. Assessing the common object of an assembly only on the basis of the overt acts committed by such individual members of the assembly, in our opinion is impermissible.
32. The identification of the common object essentially requires an assessment of the state of mind of the members of the unlawful assembly. Proof of such mental condition is normally established by inferential logic. If a large number of people gather at a public place at the dead of night armed with deadly weapons like axes and fire arms and attack another person or group of persons, any member of the attacking group would have to be a moron in intelligence if he did not know murder would be a likely consequence.


Criminal Appeal Nos. 1525 and 1526-1527 of 2009

Decided On: 16.05.2018

 Vinubhai Ranchhodbhai Patel Vs. Rajivbhai Dudabhai Patel and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Jasti Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, JJ.

Citation:(2018) 7 SCC 743
Read full judgment here: Click here
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