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Section 149 deals with the 5 or more people as that would account for unlawful assembly here section 34 is not applicable. Section 34 talks about common intention whereas section 149 talks about common object such as the common object have a wider scope. Common intention is if two or more person commits any crime with the same intention and under a prearranged plan, but in common object it is not necessary that there should be a prior concert in the sense of a meeting of the members of the unlawful assembly, the common object may form on spur of the moment; it is enough if it is adopted by all the members and is shared by all of them.
In section 34 Participation of the people in crime is an important aspect, even standing people who indirectly help in commissioning of crime are also prosecuted. But in Section 149 mere membership of the group of an unlawful assembly is sufficient enough for prosecution. Section 34 is substantive evidence and other sections like 302 murder has to be clubbed with it.
Section 149 is a constructive crime in itself.
According to Section 34, when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.
Object of Section 34:- Section 34 lays down only a rule of evidence and does not create a substantive offence. This section is intended to meet cases in which it may be difficult to distinguish between the acts of the individual embers of a party or to prove exactly what part was taken by each of them in furtherance of the common intention of all.
This section really means that if two or more persons intentionally do a thing jointly, it is just the same as if each of them has done it individually. The reason why all are deemed guilty in such cases is that the presence of accomplices gives encouragement, support and protection to the person actually committing an act.
Elements of Section 34: To attract the application of Section 34, the following conditions must be satisfied.
Some Criminal Act: – ‘Criminal act’ used in section 34 does not refer to individual acts where a crime is committed by a group of persons. Where a crime is committed by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all of them, each of them doing some act, similar or diverse, big or small shall be liable for that act. ‘That act’ refers to the ‘criminal act’ used in section 34 which means the unity of criminal behaviour which results in something for which an individual would be punishable if it were all done by himself alone in an offence. .
Criminal Act Done By Several Persons: – The criminal act in question must have been done by several persons i. e. by more than one person. The number of wrong doers should be at least two. Most importantly, if the criminal act was fresh and independent act springing wholly from the mind of the doer, the others are not liable merely because when it was done they were intending to be partakers with the doer in a different criminal act. 3.
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